The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has directed its Members of Parliament not to take part in the Vote of Censure motion that has been filed by the Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) members.
In a statement signed by its General Secretary, Justin Koduah and issued in Accra last night, the party said the Minority members have no genuine motive behind the action they have taken and must not be supported by the ruling party.
The following is the full statement;
The leadership of the New Patriotic Party, following broader consultations and engagements with stakeholders has resolved and hereby directs all members of the Majority Caucus in Parliament to abstain from a scheduled Vote of Censure being sought by the Minority Caucus against Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister for Finance.
By this directive, the leadership of the Majority Caucus, especially the Whips, are to ensure that no Member of the Majority Caucus partakes in this exercise by the Minority Group in Parliament.
While the National Executive body acknowledges the prevailing socio-economic conditions in the country and the need for urgent remedial interventions, it is our position that the demand of the NDC-led Minority Caucus is ill-intended and aimed at derailing government’s efforts at resolving current socio-economic upheavals.
The leadership acknowledges that the Minister for Finance is the leader of government’s Negotiation team with the International Monetary Fund.
Considering that negotiation with the IME 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 voting that when similar calls were made for the head of Mr. Seth Tepker, the then Minister for 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 defence of Mr, Tekper, a clear indication that the NDC lacks credibility on this matter.
Accordingly, neither the NPP nor its Members of Parliament will lend 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.
The leadership of the NPP wishes to assure our Members of Parliament and the Ghanaian populace that there are ongoing internal engagements aimed at addressing legitimate concerns expressed by various stakeholders regarding the management of the economy, including calls for the resignation or dismissal of the Minister for Finance.
Meanwhile, our parliamentary correspondent, Agnes Ansah, reports that after showing their dislike for the Finance Minister and calling for his removal, one would have thought that the Majority caucus in Parliament will welcome the motion on the Vote of Censure being instituted by the Minority caucus.
But the group is rather acting contrary to it actions. They have zipped their mouths over the issue. The silence became more evident yesterday when the First Deputy Minority Whip, Mr Ibrahim Ahmed, notified members of the House that the motion of Vote on Censure will be taken and entreated members to be in the House in their numbers and on time.
“…I want to entreat honourable colleagues that tomorrow the motion for censure will be moved. It is on the Order paper slated for November 10. So members must be here by 10:00am and we must all be here in our numbers,” the Banda legislator indicated.
Though the Majority had already indicated that it will not join the Minority in its motion of Vote of Censure against the Finance Minister, one would have thought that the indication of the censure to be taken today would have elucidated some responses but that wasn’t so.
None of the few MPs on the Majority side of the House yesterday commented on the indication from the Banda legislator.
A motion of Vote of Censure was first advertised in the Order Paper of Parliament on Thursday, October 27, 2022.
It was the third sitting of the third meeting in the Second Session of the Eighth Parliament of the Fourth Republic.
Parts of the motion read: “That this Honourable House passes a Vote of Censure on the Minister responsible for Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, in accordance with Article 82 of the 1992 Constitution on the following grounds:..”
According to Article 82(2) of the 1992 constitution “A motion for the resolution referred to in clause (1) of this article shall not be moved in Parliament unless-(a) seven days’ notice has been given of the motion; and (b) the notice for the motion has been signed by not less than one-third of all the members of Parliament.”
The motion has passed the seven days notice test because motion was first advertised on October 27 and seventh day from that day was November 8.
The motion has also passed the ‘signed by not less than one-third of all members of Parliament’ test because the members of the Minority alone are 136 and that’s more than one-third of the House.
However, in order for Parliament to succeed in removal of Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, two-thirds of members of the House should show their support for it, as directed by Article 82 (1) of the 1992 constitution.
The Chronicle is not sure if the Minority Leader, MrHaruna Iddrisu will be able to perform some magic and marshal all the arrows in his quiver to get some members from the Majority side to support the motion.
The Chronicle will follow this story with eagle eyes and bring you all the drama.
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