Claim: “In 2022, the Ghanaian Congress, both the lower and the upper House, put a vote of no confidence against the Finance Minister,” said Dominic Nimely, President of the Patriotic Entrepreneurs of Liberia.
Verdict: False! Ghana has a unicameral, not a bicameral, legislature, and even though the minority members of Ghana called for a vote of censure against the Finance Minister, they failed to garner the numbers on the floor for the vote of censure to pass. Credible media reports in Ghana and the BBC, Reuters, and Blomberg say the ‘Vote’ failed to pass because most members walked out.
The President of the Patriotic Entrepreneurs of Liberia, Dominic Nimely, has criticised lawmakers serving the Liberian people through the 54th National Legislature for doing little to improve the condition of Liberian businesses.
Nimely said Liberians had become spectators in their economy largely because of the failure of legislators to prevail on the executive to work in the people’s interest.
He stressed that, unlike Liberia, parliament members in Ghana are serious-minded people whose actions reflect what the people expect.
Nimely said: “The Ghanaian congress, the lower house and upper house put a vote of no confidence in the finance minister. Anybody that knows the story they will tell you, and they (parliament members) refused to go for a session.”
Speaking on Wednesday, June 7, 2023, on the OK Morning Rush, a local radio station in Monrovia, he added that the economy in Ghana is facing challenges due to the underperformance of the Finance Minister, and the MPs there voted him out.
Even when the host drew his attention to the fact that the vote of censure failed, Nimely insisted it passed.
His analysis of lawmakers in Liberia and MPs in Ghana sought to question the laissez-faire attitudes of Legislators here in Liberia in exercising their oversight responsibility over the executive.
Holding unto the ties between the two nations and the gravity of the claim, DUBAWA deemed it necessary to verify Nimely’s claim of a ‘Vote of no confidence’ by parliament in Ken Ofori-Atta of Ghana.
According to the Mariam Dictionary, a vote of no confidence is a formal vote by which members of the Legislature or similar deliberative bodies indicate that they no longer support a leader.
Contrary to the claim by Nimely that the “Upper and Lower Houses” in Ghana called for a vote, only one chamber called for a vote of censure against the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta. Ghana has a unicameral legislature with only one chamber, not a bicameral legislature with two chambers.
Ghana’s Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, has supervised economic hardship with inflation at 40%, triggering protests and forcing the country to return to the IMF for assistance.
In a conversation on the radio in Liberia, Dominic Nimely, a Liberian entrepreneur, claimed that due to the Economic woes under Ofori-Atta’s watch, members of the Ghanaian parliament passed a vote of no confidence against him in 2022. He made the specific statement around 2:44:40 sec of the show that lasted for 3:36 Sec. on Wednesday, June 7, 2023
Mr Ofori-Atta had become hugely unpopular due to harsh economic conditions in Ghana and, more importantly, the decision by the government to go to the IMF for a bailout. He had early on sworn that Ghana would never go to the IMF.
When the government made a U-turn and went to the IMF, the minister’s popularity fell to the extent that some of his party’s members in the Parliament called for his resignation.
After a meeting with the president, Nana Akufo-Addo, the aggrieved MPs softened their stance when the president told them to hold on to their request until after the Minister’s successful engagement with the IMF.
Just when the dust was about to settle, the minority members filed a motion of censure against the Finance Minister to force his exit from the government. The minority members accused the minister of conflict of interest and incompetence, among other breaches. Numbering 137 in Parliament, the minority was hoping to get the aggrieved members of the majority MPs to back their call for a vote of no confidence against the minister.
The minister was hauled before an ad-hoc committee of Parliament to investigate the allegations contained in the vote of censure, after which the matter was brought to a vote on the floor of Parliament.
Contrary to claims by Nimely that the vote of censure succeeded, credible media reports in Ghana and international media reports say otherwise. For instance, Citinewsroom.com and Graphic.com.gh, some of Ghana’s credible online platforms, reported that the vote failed.
Also, ‘Reuters’ reported on December 8, 2022, that a bid to Censure Ghana’s finance minister failed in parliament.
The BBC, in one of its pidgin articles in December 2022, published with a bold banner headline that reads: “Vote to remove Ghana Finance Minister fail after majority lawmakers walk out from parliament.”
At the same time, the Blomberg news outlet reported that the Finance Minister survived the ‘Vote of no Confidence’. Though minority lawmakers voted to remove the Finance Minister, the vote needed two-thirds of the ballot to succeed.
As of June 8, 2023, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta remains the Finance Minister of Ghana, having survived the onslaught of a vote of censure.
According to DUBAWA’s research, it is false to claim that Ghanaian parliament members put a vote of no confidence against their Minister of Finance.