Differ but don’t undermine our democracy – Govt to politians

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Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah

Government has called on political actors to feel free to differ on national policies but refrain from undermining the country’s democracy.

The Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said while the administration has no problem with people expressing divergent views on policies and national developments, it abhors attempts by some to lace their commentary with anti-democratic comments and insinuations that undermine Ghana’s democracy.

“Comments to the effect that some conditions are rife for a coup are most unfortunate and disappointing,” he told journalists in Accra on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Professor Raymond Atuguba, the Dean of the University of Ghana’s Law Faculty, warned that the economy is heading for some difficult period if something radical is not done immediately to rescue it.

Speaking at a public lecture on a review of the 1992 Constitution and its impact on the economy, he noted that Ghana’s current financial state is a threat to its democracy.

He noted that studies have confirmed that an ailing economy facilitates all successful coup d’états in the sub-region.

“A big part of why certain coups succeed and others fail is the economy. What is the state of Ghana’s economy today?

“At the level of the most irreducible idiomaticity, Ghana is broke. Your nation is radically broke. So broke, the Speaker of Parliament has publicly warned, gavel in hand, that we may not be able to pay the salaries of public sector workers in the next three months,” the academic said.

For him, passing the controversial Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy) Bill is one of the concrete steps to prevent a coup and the economy’s collapse.

Although he described the tax policy with swear words, he noted that funds generated from this taxation will be the country’s saviour.

“We need to pass the damn ‘farah f*&king’ [sic], E-levy Bill, immediately and implement it effectively.

“However, to prevent the collapse of the economy and a return to the stranglehold of the IFIs [International Financial Institutions], we have no choice but to pass it,” he stressed.

Many have criticised the academic saying his comments leave much to be desired.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah said, the comments “are disappointing because, despite Covid-19, Ghana’s current economic status is far better than the days of yesteryear when there was no global pandemic.

“Even if they were worse, the constitution provides legitimate means for advocating for and executing a change. For respected persons to be purporting that such conditions legitimise coups is a terrible attack on our democracy itself and should not be condoned,” the Minister said.

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