Ghana ruling party lawmakers demand finance minister's dismissal
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Ghanaian ruling party lawmakers on Tuesday demanded President Nana Akufo-Addo fire the finance ministers, piling pressure his government over the country's economic struggles.
Akufo-Addo has come under fire as Ghanaians cope with more than 35 percent inflation and a sharp fall in the cedi currency partly due to regional fallout from the pandemic and the Ukraine conflict.
Finance Minister Kenneth Ofori-Atta recently returned from Washington where he held talks with the International Monetary Fund over a $3 billion credit to help shore up Ghana's finances.
A majority of Akufo-Addo's New Patriotic Party or NPP parliamentary caucus on Tuesday warned they will stop cooperating with his government until he fires Ofori-Atta as well as another top finance ministry official.
Caucus spokesman Andy Appiah Kubi told reporters the president should immediately fire the two officials "to restore hope into the financial sector, and reverse the downward trend in the growth of our economy".
"Until such persons as aforementioned are made to resign or removed from office we members of the majority caucus here in Parliament will not participate in any business of government by or for the president by any other minister," he said.
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"If our request is not responded to positively, we'll not be present for the budget hearing neither would we participate in the debate."
The call was backed by 80 of the 137 lawmakers in the ruling party's majority caucus in the parliament.
Ghana's parliament is evenly split between the NPP and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) along with one independent seat. Lawmakers are due to start debate on the 2023 budget proposal in November.
The parliamentary demands are the latest pressure on Akufo-Addo, who reversed his position earlier this year to enter into negotiations with IMF over a loan deal.
Traders in the capital Accra last week closed their stores and businesses in a three-day protest over soaring living costs.
The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) union said it was a signal to the government that they were frustrated over poor economic management.
A week ago, Akufo-Addo was also booed by scores of traders in the Ashanti Region, the stronghold of his governing NPP, on his way to inspect some government projects.
The IMF has started talks with Ghana over a deal and IMF officials said they expected to reach an agreement before the end of the year.
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