Leadership of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has asked its members on the Minority Caucus in Parliament not to support the passage of all pending financial bills that are crucial to government’s bid to secure the International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout to bring the economy back on track.
Government is currentky negotiating for
three billion dollar Extended Credit Facility from the IMF by the end of the month of March.
Additionally, the main opposition political party has further directed its parliamentarians to vote against the appro of all ministers of state designate who were vetted by Parliament’s Appointment Committee.
President Nana Akufo-Addo has nominated the MP for Adansi Asokwa, Kobina Tahiru (KT) Hammond, as the new Minister of Trade to replace Alan Kyerematen, who resigned from the cabinet on 6 January 2023 to pursue his presidential ambitions.
He also nominated Stephen Amoah, the former chief executive officer of the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), to serve as the deputy trade minister.
For the Ministry of Agriculture, the MP for Abetifi, Bryan Acheampong, was named as replacement for Owusu Afriyie Akoto, who also resigned last month to pursue his presidential ambition as well.
Osei Bonsu Amoah was also nominated as the Minister of State designate at the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development and Stephen Asamoah Boateng, the former director general of the State Interests and Governance Authority (SIGA), named as the new Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs.
Mohammed Amin Adam, the current deputy minister of energy, was named as the Minister of State designate at the Ministry of Finance and Herbert Krapa, was moved from the role of deputy trade minister to deputy minister of energy.
All the nominees have been vetted by Parliament’s appointment committee but the committee failed to approve the ministers and deputy ministers designate by consensus and the House will therefore be required to vote on their appro hopefully in the coming weeks.
On Wednesday 8 March 2023, President Akufo-Addo, in his state of the nation address to Parliament made a passionate appeal to the House to give consideration to all pending financial bills to pave way for the country to secure the IMF deal and to put the economy back on a sound footing.
He also called on the House to approve his new nominees for the vacant positions in his government to ensure the smooth running of the country.
“Mr. Speaker, I thank the House for its support throughout this process, including the passage of key revenue laws.
“However, a few more of these measures, namely Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, Excise Duty & Excise Tax Stamp (Amendment) Bills, as well as the Growth and Sustainability Levy Bill, are outstanding, which need the urgent attention of the House and passage to complete the prior actions.
“This will put us in readiness for our presentation to the Fund Board, and, more importantly, bolster our domestic revenue mobilization efforts” President Akufo-Addo said.
But the NDC in a letter signed by the general secretary of the party, Fiifi Kwetey, dated Tuesday 7 March 2023, and addressed to all constituency chairpersons of the party, indicated that the party has declared the period from 7 to 31 March 2023, as “Operation Save Our Democracy”.
“At its meeting held on Tuesday, March 7 2023, the Functional Executive Committee (FEC) of the National Democratic Congress in solidarity with the Minority Caucus in Parliament resolved that the period from the evening of 7 March, 2023 up to until the 31 March, 2023 has been declared as “Operation Save Our Democracy”.
“Accordingly, FEC issues the following directives; firstly, all campaign activities in all constituencies with sitting NDC MPs are hereby suspended and secondly, all sitting NDC MPs, shall be required to attend all Parliamentary sittings” Fifi Kwetey letter read.
Third, “no NDC MP shall undertake any travel that will affect his or her attendance in Parliament. Fourth, “any MP who has travelled is hereby recalled immediately”.
The fifth and sixth directives in the NDC letter states that “all regional and constituency executives and aspirants are directed to ensure strict compliance with the directives herein and “all parliamentary aspirants, are hereby directed in their own interest, to strictly adhere to these directives as breach of same shall attract severe sanctions”.
By Vincent Kubi