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Pass vote of no confidence on Finance Minister; Owusu Agyepong urges Parliament

Former Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs in the Kufuor Administration, Felix Owusu-Agyepong is urging MPs to pass a vote of no confidence on the Finance Minister.

Owusu-Agyepong is accusing Seth Terkper of violating with impunity laws that require him to release monies into statutory funds such as the National Health Insurance Scheme, Ghana Education Trust Fund, Road Fund amongst others.

At a roundtable discussion organised by the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), Tuesday, the former Minister said Parliament must be able to assert itself on this thorny issue.

The theme for the discussion was reflections and insights from Ghana’s Parliament.

Joy News’ Fred Smith who was at the discussion reported Owusu Agyepong as saying that he has been monitoring with disappointment the non-payment of statutory funds and the impact it has had especially on the health sector.

The National Health Insurance funds have been in arrears for a number of months, a situation which led to service providers threatening to cut supplies to hospitals and NHIS card holders.

The GETFund, District Assemblies Common Fund, the Roads Fund are all in arrears.

Felix Owusu Agyepong said Parliament must activate the sanctions spelt out in Article 82 of the 1992 Constitution against the Finance Minister.

The Article states:
“(1) Parliament may, by a resolution supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all the members of Parliament, pass a vote of censure on a Minister of State.

“(2) A motion for the resolution referred to in clause (1) of this article shall not be moved in Parliament unless-

“(a) seven days’ notice has been given of the motion; and

“(b) the notice for the motion has been signed by not less than one-third of all the members of Parliament;

“(3) The motion shall be debated in Parliament within fourteen days after the receipt by the Speaker of the notice for the motion.

“(4) A Minister of State in respect of whom a vote of censure is debated under clause (3) of this article is entitled, during the debate, to be heard in his defence.

“(5) Where a vote of censure is passed against a Minister under this article the President may, unless the Minister resigns his office, revoke his appointment as a Minister.”

Felix Owusu Agyepong said it was about time Seth Terkper was shown the exit by Parliament.

By Myjoyonline.com

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