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Parliament suspends sessions on the second day of the minority boycott

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Parliament suspends sessions on the second day of the minority boycott

Parliamentary proceedings were halted on Tuesday, July 11 due to a very empty House.

At the opening of proceedings, there were no members of the Minority, while the number of Majority members (MPs) was only ten.

Andrew Amoako Asiamah, the Second Deputy Speaker, opted to adjourn the meeting.

The Minority had proclaimed its intention to follow its three members who were on trial for one or more crimes.

Minority Leader Dr Cassiel Ato Forson made the announcement precisely a week ago, following the swearing-in of Assin North MP James Gyakye Quayson, whose trial on Tuesday, July 11 caused the absence of National Democratic Congress (NDC) legislators.

“I wish to serve notice that the entire Minority Group will accompany our colleague to court today and any other day that he is to appear in court,” Dr Ato Forson stated on Tuesday, July 4.

“Mr Speaker, we are solidarising with our colleague and we will not participate in the business of the House anytime our colleague is in court and we will be withdrawing from the chamber after this ceremony if the court processes indeed happen today.”

This decision was eventually expanded to include the Minority Leader himself as well as Asutifi South MP Collins Dauda.

It premiered on Thursday, July 6.

Prior to the suspension of proceedings on the second day, Tuesday, July 11, Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu called for a serious discussion on the Minority’s decision.

He claims that the ruling would have an impact on government operations.

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Ato Forson to the government: Fixing the plummeting cedi must be more important to you than getting additional loans

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Dr. Forson emphasised that the Akufo-Addo administration's main worry should be the worrisome devaluation of the Ghanaian cedi. The Minority Leader stated that the quick decrease in the value of the local currency is producing major economic issues, such as company closures and increased unemployment. The Minority Leader voiced alarm about the ongoing depreciation of the Cedi, which he claims is raising the cost of products and services throughout the country. According to him, this is placing a lot of strain on regular Ghanaians and making their lives worse.

Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, the Minority Leader, has criticised President Akufo-Addo for convening an emergency parliamentary session at the request of the Majority caucus on Friday, May 17.

He said that there was no genuine emergency that required the recall of Parliament to accept a $150 million World Bank loan.

Dr Forson, a former Deputy Finance Minister, declared at the opening of the parliamentary session that loan clearance was unnecessary.

He emphasised that the administration had already misappropriated cash from the first portion of the previously approved loan.

Dr. Forson emphasised that the Akufo-Addo administration’s main worry should be the worrisome devaluation of the Ghanaian cedi.

The Minority Leader stated that the quick decrease in the value of the local currency is producing major economic issues, such as company closures and increased unemployment.

The Minority Leader voiced alarm about the ongoing depreciation of the Cedi, which he claims is raising the cost of products and services throughout the country.

According to him, this is placing a lot of strain on regular Ghanaians and making their lives worse.

He advised the government to concentrate on stabilising the Cedi rather than obtaining new loans for what he referred to as spending.

Dr Forson emphasised the need for the government to put economic stability and civilian well-being first.

The Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam congressman maintained that solving the Cedi’s free slide should be the government’s top priority.

He cautioned that failing to do so would deepen economic suffering and jeopardise the country’s financial stability.

In conclusion, Dr Forson urged the government to reconsider its objectives and take quick measures to stabilise the economy rather than incur further debt.

He advised a change away from borrowing and towards policies that would strengthen the local currency and promote long-term economic prosperity.

“How is the approval of a US$150 million loan an urgent issue, when US$200 million for phase one approved by this House has been misapplied and not accounted for?”

“How is it an urgent matter for Parliament to be summoned from recess to approve a-US$150 million loan agreement at a time that this government is granting questionable US$450 million tax waiver?”

“Therefore, we want to make the point clear that there is no urgent matter before the House to warrant this recall.”

“Rt. Hon. Speaker, the urgent matter facing the people of Ghana, particularly businesses, traders and households is the free fall of the Cedi. This is a matter that concerns everyone. The depreciation of the Cedi should be an urgent issue for all of us,” he said.

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Full list of Ministerial and deputy Ministerial nominees approved by Parliament

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The organisation claims that the present economic and electricity issues are the product of the government's incompetence, which necessitates immediate action rather than new cabinet nominations. Minority Leader Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson announced ahead of the adoption of the Appointments Committee report that the caucus will not support the candidates' confirmation. “Mr Speaker, the Minority does not support the nominations of these ministers, because of what the country has gone through and continues to go through, including economic crisis, food insecurity, “dumsor”, and reckless borrowing. "Businesses are hurting. While the government has urged Ghanaians to tighten their belts, it has loosened its own.

President Akufo-Addo has nominated nine Ministers of State, and Parliament has confirmed them.

In his first ministerial change since 2017, the President appointed Dr Bernard Okoe Boye as Minister of Health, Lydia Seyram Alhassan as Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, and Dakoa Newman as Minister of Gender, Children, and Social Protection, among others.

The House has also approved President Akufo-Addo’s Deputy Ministers of State nominations.

The Minority in Parliament walked out before President Akufo-Addo’s confirmation of Ministers and Deputy Ministers-designate.

The organisation claims that the present economic and electricity issues are the product of the government’s incompetence, which necessitates immediate action rather than new cabinet nominations.

Minority Leader Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson announced ahead of the adoption of the Appointments Committee report that the caucus will not support the candidates’ confirmation.

“Mr Speaker, the Minority does not support the nominations of these ministers, because of what the country has gone through and continues to go through, including economic crisis, food insecurity, “dumsor”, and reckless borrowing.

“Businesses are hurting. While the government has urged Ghanaians to tighten their belts, it has loosened its own.

“Piling up ministers and deputies does not signal to the Ghanaians the president understands the seriousness of the mess created.”

Full list of Ministerial and deputy Ministerial nominees

Health Hon. Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye; Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ophelia Mensah Hayford; Information Ms Fatimatu Abubakar, Gender; Children and Social Protection Dakoa Newman;  Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development Martin Adjei-Mensah Korsah; Sanitation and Water Resources Hon. Lydia Seyram Alhassan; Tourism, Arts and Culture Hon. Andrew Egyapa Mercer, MP, Greater Accra Region Hon. Titus Glover, Oti Region Mr. Daniel Machator.

The deputy ministerial nominees are for Information Sylvester Tetteh, MP; Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, Vincent Ekow Assafuah; Communications and Digitalisation Hon. Charles Acheampong; Health Adelaide Ntim, MP Alexander Akwasi Acquah; Works and Housing Hon. Dr. Prince Hamidu Armah;
Lands and Natural Resources, Akwasi Konadu; Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Hon. Musah Abdul Aziz Ayaba; Energy John Kobina Sanie, Collins Adomako Mensah; Education Kingsley Nyarko; Employment and Labour Relations Hon. Festus Awuah Kwofie; Gender, Children and Social Protection Hon. Benjamin Sekyere Yeboah.”

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None of my appointees will indulge in mining – Mahama

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Mr. Mahama pledged that if elected president, he will establish a sustainable mining scheme in all mining communities that differs from the current community mining scheme and will heavily involve traditional leadership in the granting of licences to help regulate mining activities. "It will vary in every way from the current community mining plan, which has indisputably become a conduit for enriching party chairmen, DCEs, and other politically connected persons. "Indeed, under my administration, if you are a minister, a DCE, or an official and engage in mining activities, I will request that you quit and go mining. You can either be a governmental official or a businessman running a mine.

John Dramani Mahama, the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has stated that if elected president in December, he will not hesitate to order any of his officials involved in mining activities to quit.

According to the former President, his appointees would be obliged to focus on their primary mission of improving the country.

Speaking at the 3rd Annual Transformational Dialogue on Small-scale Mining at the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) in Sunyani, John Mahama stated that none of his appointees will participate in galamsey.

Mr Mahama pledged that if elected president, he would establish a sustainable mining scheme in all mining communities that differs from the current community mining scheme and will heavily involve traditional leadership in the granting of licences to help regulate mining activities.

“It will vary in every way from the current community mining plan, which has indisputably become a conduit for enriching party chairmen, DCEs, and other politically connected persons.

“Indeed, under my administration, if you are a minister, a DCE, or an official and engage in mining activities, I will request that you quit and go mining. You can either be a governmental official or a businessman running a mine.

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