As the House of Parliament debates a proposal by opposition lawmakers to remove Ken Ofori-Atta as Minister of Finance, the NPP’s General Secretary, Justin Kodua Frimpong, has been observed in the chamber.
On October 25, 2022, National Democratic Congress lawmakers submitted a motion to the House of Representatives, asking that it be discussed and decided upon 14 days after the Speaker of the House received it.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) MPs had hoped that the NDC MPs would support their resolution when it came before the parliament at the end of the time.
This anticipation is based on the historical position taken a few weeks ago by over 80 NPP MPs who demanded that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo swiftly fire Ken Ofori-Atta for his subpar performance.
In a news conference, the lawmakers threatened to boycott all parliamentary proceedings related to government, including the reading of the fiscal year 2023 budget statement and economic policy, if the president did not take this action.
After the president met with the NPP MPs and encouraged them to give the minister of finance time to finish some urgent government work, including his IMF request, this appeal has since been put on hold.
But the NPP’s general secretary, Justin Kodua Frimpong, instructed his party’s MPs in a letter before the motion for a vote of censure against Ken Ofori-Atta was heard to abstain from the vote.
The national leadership stated in a statement dated November 9, 2022 that “While the National Executive body acknowledges the current socio-economic conditions in the country and the need for urgent remedial interventions, it is our utmost position that the demand of the NDC-led Minority Caucus is unjust and intended to thwart government’s efforts to address 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 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.”
The NPP MPs, lead by Dr. Nana Ayew Afriye, the MP for Effiduase-Asokore, declared in an interview that while they are adamant about removing Ken Ofori-Atta, they would not back the NDC MPs’ proposal for a vote of censure against the minister.
“We are here to stress that, despite how often you may have heard us say that, depending on the president’s involvement, we will have to see the minister of finance perform his duties, read the budget, and examine the appropriation before the president takes action.
“Over the days, we have heard the finance minister speaking and his speaking has influenced majority of us in the caucus, not only to state that we are back to the original position that we took, and that position is that the minister of finance must not be the one to read the budget, and must not be the one that would do the appropriation.
“We are here to tell you this morning that this will be very soon for you to see, the position of us and we are going to be positively defiant about that posture until that action is taken. However, we are not going to support the cause of the NDC in the chamber this morning.
“The foundation of the NDC’s cause is lies, misinformation, and unjustifiable justifications.
Although their position may be similar to ours, it is not the same “said he.
Therefore, it is thought that the NPP General Secretary’s presence in parliament serves as a form of “supervisory” one to make sure that the NPP MPs follow the order to abstain from the vote of censure intended to remove the controversial Ken Ofori-Atta.