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History has repeated itself? This is what Ken Ofori-Atta's father did in the Third Republic

Parliament on Friday, 26 November 2021 through a voice vote rejected the 2022 budget presented by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta.

The much talk-about rejected 2022 budget, though its constitutionality is being challenged by the NPP caucus, has become the first time in the history of the Fourth Republic, that a budget was rejected in parliament.

Though it is true, that the recent rejection of Ken Ofori Atta’s 2022 budget, by the Minority (NDC MPs) in parliament, is the first in the Fourth Republic of Ghana; it is also true, that it is not actually the first time in the history of Ghana, that a budget was rejected by parliament. 

The fact is, in a previous Republic, a similar thing happened. A particular example of this was in 1979, during Dr. Hilla Limann’s time in the Third Republic, when a budget statement was rejected by Parliament.

In the Dr. Hilla Limann’s Third Republic, The motion for the rejection of the budget, was moved by Jones Amoako Atta Ofori-Atta, (the father of the current Finance Minister-Ken Ofori-Atta), who was then the Ranking Member on the Finance Committee.

During the debate on the budget, Jones Amoako Atta Ofori-Atta moved a motion saying, “That the House takes note of the financial Policy Statement and regrets that it fails to deal with the fundamental and urgent economic problems of the country”. 

Jones Amoako Atta Ofori-Atta, who was the then Member of Parliament for Begoro Constituency, added that, “The House therefore calls on Government to take immediate and realistic steps to tackle these pressing problems. These are the imbalances in government finances, intolerable hardships faced by ordinary Ghanaians, and the low level of cocoa producer price”.

When the vote was conducted, on the motion moved by Dr Jones Ofori-Atta, it turned out that, the result was 54 votes to 51, and so the budget was rejected by parliament.

The point is, Ken Ofori Atta’s budget, which was rejected by parliament, was actually not the first time. The last time it really occurred, it was actually initiated by the same Ken Ofori-Atta’s father, in the Third Republic of Ghana under President Hilla Liman.

This in my view, whatever goes around comes around...

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