Finance Minister likely to face empty House if he insists on reading 2023 budget

JoyNews is learning that Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta will face an unprecedented situation if he attempts to present the budget on Thursday.

Both Majority and Minority members are likely to abandon the Chamber making it impossible for him to have the constitutional quorum required to proceed with the budget presentation.

Despite facing a censure motion moved by the Minority to oust him and coming up against 98 members of the Majority side who also want him removed, Mr. Ofori-Atta told JoyNews last week that he will present the 2023 budget this week.

According to him, he has not been officially notified not to read the budget. 

“Yes, I expect so. I haven’t heard that (NPP MPs’ opposition) officially so I expect to read it,” he said.

But the 98 NPP MP say they will boycott the budget presentation if Mr, Ofori Atta is still in charge.

“We’ve gone back to (our demand for the President to) sack him now and therefore should the budget be presented under the stamp of the Finance Minister, we’ll not participate because as far as we’re concerned we’re never going to do business with him.

“And if we’re not going to do business with him, he does not participate in any process from the Presidency to the House. We will not participate in deliberations too,” the NPP MP said.

Speaking in an interview on JoyNews’ PM Express on Tuesday, November 15, 2022, the Asante Akim North MP, Andy Appiah Kubby said the only way the President will get them to participate in the budget presentation and appropriation is if someone else from government is appointed to present the budget.

“We’re not saying we won’t do President’s business. We’re saying we won’t do President’s business through Ofori-Atta. So if anybody else comes with President’s business, we’ll participate,” he said.

JoyNews is now also learning the NDC side will join their Majority colleagues to stage a walkout if their vote of censure fails.

The issue of a constitutional quorum will then be raised, making it impossible for him to proceed with the presentation.

Ranking Member on Parliament’s Finance Committee, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson also insists the Minority side will not recognise the Finance Minister.

“The President had the option to either sack him or otherwise, but the key issue, is if he fails to sack him, Parliament can also fail to recognise him.”

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