Members of Parliament (MPs) have registered their displeasure at the economy and the performance of Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, as both sides of the divide are pushing for his impeachment
MPs from both the Majority and Minority on Tuesday called for removal of the finance minister to save the economy from further deterioration.
Addressing the press corps in Parliament yesterday, Andy Kwame Appiah Kubi – MP for Asante-Akim North Constituency, who represented some 80 members of the Majority group to sign the petition – made the call for the president to immediately remove the finance minister and Minister of State in the Finance Ministry, Charles Adu Boahen.
“We have had occasions to defend allegations of conflict of interest, lack of confidence and trust against leadership of our finance ministry. The recent developments within our economy is of great concern to the greater majority of members of our caucus and our constituents.
“We are by this medium communicating our strong desire that the president change the Minister of Finance and Minister of State in the Finance Ministry without further delay, to restore hope into the financial sector and reverse the downward trend of the economy’s growth,” he said.
The group also noted they will not be part of parliamentary business and the 2023 budget if the president fails to honour their request.
The Minority, in a different address, courted support from the Majority group to support a motion that it intends to move in the House to impeach the finance minister, adding that is not enough to only petition the president.
Addressing the Parliamentary press corps, Ahmed Ibrahim – first Deputy-Whip of the Minority and MP for Banda – noted that the Majority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, made the decision for the motion known at meeting held by the Business Committee of Parliament yesterday.
“I see their press briefing as long overdue. As representatives of the people and as duty-bearers, we must move a motion to call for the head of the finance minister. So if our brothers in the majority believe in this, what they should do is to support the call and motion from the Minority Leader for dismissal of the finance minister.
“You need a two-thirds (2/3) majority of parliamentarians to sack the finance minister. If we have 137 and you have 137 plus 1 for the Majority, it should not be difficult to mobilise 183 MPs to dismiss or reshuffle the finance minister if the president is failing to do that.”
Reacting to these concerns, the Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, admitted that the country’s economy is in a bad state.
However, he expressed worry about the timing of the call for dismissal of the finance minister, citing the current IMF negotiations and depreciation of the cedi as factors.
“I agree with the Minority Leader when he says that the economy is afflicted by some ailments. Everyone in this country must accept that.
“My own personal thinking is whether or not this thing can be done in the mid-stream of negotiations with the IMF, and mid-stream in crafting the budget. What will be the effect of this, and also even its impact on performance of the currency as we see now? These are matters we should interrogate,” he said.
Meanwhile, MP for Okaikwei Central, Patrick Yaw Boamah, in an interview with the B&FT noted that government must do whatever is required to save the economy – even if it requires removing all the Cabinet ministers and setting up a new government.
He said: “Every responsible member of our party has serious concerns about the state of our economy, and we don’t have to play the ostrich and say that we are in government so we cannot talk about it. What we can say is that we are not on firm ground with regard to our economy, and we believe that a lot more has to be done.
“Whatever it takes for government to put in place the right measures – even if it requires removing all the Cabinet ministers and setting up a new government – we all support it.”