Debt Exchange: We are elevating it to a legal matter – Minority

The Minority in Parliament has said it is preparing to subject the debt exchange programme to legal scrutiny.

Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu in an interview with Evans Mensah on Top Story, Monday explained that per Article 181 (5) of the 1992 Constitution, the Minister needed approval from Parliament before announcing any haircut on all government bonds, loans and instruments since Parliament approved those bonds.

Article 181(5) of the 1992 Constitution requires that all international business or economic transactions to which the Government is a party must be laid before Parliament for approval before it can come into effect.

He believes the Minister may have breached Article 181(5) of the Constitution.

“We are even beginning to elevate this matter to a legal constitutional matter as to whether or not the Minister of Finance suo moto, by himself as an individual can undo what the sovereign Parliament of Ghana has done pursuant to Article 181(5) of the constitution.

“All those loans, all those bonds, all those instruments their terms and conditions were approved by Parliament including debt of domestic bonds, contractual relationships have been entered into. How can the Finance Minister allocate to himself the mandate to do this even without information to Parliament or with its prior approval?” Haruna Iddrisu quizzed.

According to the Tamale South MP, Ken Ofori-Atta has also deceived Ghanaians since he first announced that individual bonds will not be included in the debt exchange.

“When he appeared in Parliament with his 2023 Budget, he was very terce with information on the debt exchange. He refused to even apprise Parliament of the parameters and details of the exchange.

“He misled and deceived the Ghanaian public that there will be no haircut, that individual bonds will not be affected. He is now back to include them.”

Government has extended the deadline for registration for the debt exchange programme to January 31. This is the third extension of deadline.

But the Minority at a press conference on Monday said the extension will amount to nothing and called for an immediate suspension of the programme.

“We in the NDC, the Minority group call on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to immediately suspend the ongoing debt exchange programme. It is already failing”, Haruna Iddrisu stressed.

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