Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has refuted media reports that he invited, for a meeting, the 98 New Patriotic Party (NPP) Members of Parliament (MPs), who want the Finance Minister dismissed.
A statement signed by Dr Kwabena Osei-Adubofour, Senior Aide and Spokesman to former President Kufuor said the Office of the former President had chanced upon some publications in the media, both social and traditional, to the effect that he had invited the MPs for a meeting ostensibly to dissuade them from their stance.
“We wish to bring to the attention of the public that there is no truth to the said publication,” it said.
The Office “vehemently detest the developing trend in disinformation that mischievously seeks to draw former President Kufuor into issues that he had not commented on.”
The statement said Mr Kufuor was as concerned as, perhaps more so than, others for the wellbeing and stability of Ghana, and in his own way was doing whatever he could for the nation to get on top of the seemingly intractable difficulties.
He would be the last to play petty and uninformed politics in the circumstances, it said.
“At any time that Mr Kufuor deems it fit to comment publicly on national issues, he would not hesitate to do so. But he would definitely not be drawn in on other people’s terms and agenda.”
Meanwhile, disparities in the number of NPP MPs demanding the removal of Ofori-Atta suggests a crack in the front of the majority.
MP for Asante Akyem North in the Ashanti Region, Andy Appiah-Kubi, who doubles as spokesperson for the group initially, announced that 80 of the 137 NPP legislators support the demand to sack Ofori-Atta.
However, the group did not release the list of MPs supporting the demand with their signatures for the public to know them.
In view of public discussions and questions about the actual number of MPs making the request, Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu organized a news conference on Thursday, November 3, 2022 to throw more light on the issue.
Addressing journalists, he declared that the entire Majority Caucus was in support of the calls for Finance Minister to be sacked.
“Even though the issue started with the group of 80 plus, the caucus meeting aligned with the position of that group, so it is no longer the cause of the 80 plus MPs. It is the agenda for the entire caucus and we are having some discussions on that,” he said.
However, Appiah-Kubi, spokesperson for the group in a complete departure from Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu’s statement that the entire majority wants the Finance Minister sacked now says 98 MPs now support the removal of Ofori-Atta.
For the Spokesperson of the agitating group to contradict the Majority Leader suggests division among the majority MPs on the removal of the Finance Minister.
Political watchers view the disparities in the figures as a sign that Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu might have lost control of the Majority MPs.
This, they say is especially worrying because, the group is defying a statement issued by Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu that after meeting the president, the MPs had agreed that Ofori-Atta should conclude negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), present the 2023 budget and secure passage of Appropriations Bill.
The day NPP MPs announced their demand for dismissal of the Finance Minister, Yields on Ghana’s dollar-denominated sovereign bonds spiked to new highs with the 2042 maturity climbing the most to 33.49% before slipping back to 33.39% as of 1145 GMT, TradeWeb data showed.
“Markets will likely view any change with the potential to slow IMF negotiations as a negative,” Razia Khan, chief economist for Africa and the Middle East at Standard Chartered told Reuters News Agency.
“Speedy arrangement of an IMF programme is of the essence, and the current team has been closely involved in those negotiations,” she added.
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