The Minority Leader in Parliament Haruna Iddrisu has expressed optimism that his side in the House will win the vote of censure against Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta today, Thursday, November 10.
He said the ballot will be secret voting.
“It will be a secret ballot. I am very certain that with a secret ballot, I will win, I am very optimistic,” he said while speaking at the political dialogue series organized by Media General on Wednesday, November 8.
Mr. Iddrisu further said the conduct of all Members of Parliament (MPs) regarding this vote will have a bearing on the 2024 general elections.
“What happens [Today] will have implications in December and to January 2025, how people conduct themselves,” he said.
The vote of censure against Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta is expected to take place today Thursday, November 10 but the New Patriotic Party (NP) has asked its MPs to stay away from this exercise.
The NPP indicated in a press statement that the opposition lawmakers have an ill-motivated and self-serving agenda to sabotage the NPP government and frustrate the administration of the country.
“The leadership of the Majority Caucus especially the whips ensures that no Member of the Majority Caucus partakes in this exercise by the Minority Group in Parliament. The leadership acknowledges that the Minister of Finance is the leader of the government’s negotiation team with the International Monetary Fund.
“Considering that the negotiation with the IMF is nearly completed, the national executive body of the party strongly believes that the removal of the lead person spearheading the negotiation may adversely impact the progress made thus far.
“It is worth noting that when similar calls were made for the head of Mr. Seth Terkper, the then Minister of Finance during the socio-economic turbulence under the erstwhile Mahama administration in 2015, the NDC-led Majority caucus objected to those calls and rose to the defense of Mr. Terkper, a clear indication that the NDC lacks credibility on this matter.
“Accordingly, neither the NPP nor its Members of Parliament will lend its support to this mischievous move by the NDC legislators as it is one of their many ill-motivated and self-serving but unpatriotic moves to sabotage the NPP government and frustrate the administration of the country,” a statement issued by the General Secretary of the NPP, Justin Frimpong Kodua said on Wednesday, November 9.
But the Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu explained that the Minority will need the support of the NPP lawmakers to achieve their desire to remove the Minister.
The Tamale South lawmaker said any move by the NPP lawmakers to rescind their quest to get Mr. Ofori-Atta removed will hurt Ghana’s democracy by weakening the oversight role of Parliament.
Admittedly, he said, the National Democratic Congress Lawmakers do not have the required number, two-thirds, to push their motion through hence, will need the support of the NPP MPs who earlier called for the sacking of Mr. Ofori-Atta, to achieve that.
“I’m determined to move the motion of censure,” he said.
He added “Admittedly, the Minority MPs, standing alone, may not achieve the two-thirds number and so when the Majority said they will support us, it was comforting. If they chicken out, it will weaken Parliament, it will weaken the oversight role of Parliament and the minister will run riot.”
He added, “Anywhere in the world, Mr. Ofori-Atta should have been gone by now, taking full responsibility for what has happened.”
The Speaker admitted the motion which was filed by Asawase Member of Parliament Muntaka Mubarak and dated October 24, 2022.
The opposition lawmakers believe the Finance Minister has failed in managing the economy.
In a tweet, North Tongu Member of Parliament Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said ” In compliance with Article 82 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the NDC Caucus in Parliament has successfully filed a motion for his immediate removal.
Mr. Haruna Iddrisu earlier said in Parliament after the Speaker’s ruling was challenged by Deputy Majority Leader Alexander Afenyo-Markin that “The Speaker has ruled, and we must show respect to the Speaker. If there are any disagreements with the ruling, they know what to do.
“Ordinarily, in any civilized democracy in the world, you don’t even need a motion for the Minister of Finance to go home.
“He, upon self-appraisal of where he has led the country and economy too, in all conscience, will bow out and save the nation. So, we have brought a competent motion.”
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