President John Mahama and his cabinet yesterday met for the first time, since the Supreme Court verdict on the election petition case which both Trades Union Congress (TUC) and respected economists, such as Dr. Joe Abbey, concluded has badly affected the economy as donors and investors stayed away fearing that Ghana was about to blow up.
The cabinet meeting, according to the Deputy Minister of Information and Media Relations, Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed, was to discuss critical issues that were put on hold due to the eight-month long election petition.
President Mahama and his team are to strategize on how to reactivate all suspended donor support from development partners, who had concerns about possible violent reactions after the Supreme Court verdict.
Murtala Mohammed told journalists at the Flagstaff House yesterday that President Mahama in the meantime has directed all Ministers in his government to remain focus and deliver on their responsibilities.
He insisted that the case has undoubtedly had a monumental effect on the country, which makes such an action imperative, revealing government has been informed that the live telecast of the petition caused Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) alone almost GH¢3.5 million.
“It is also a fact that productivity was affected as many people were glued to their TV.”
He said, in spite of the petition, government is focused and urged all interest groups to remain focused because, “the promises that [President Mahama] made to the good people of this country are something he will never renege on”.
The Deputy Minister maintained that “government would ensure that the living condition of Ghanaians as promised in the 2012 (manifesto) is something that is achieved.”
He reiterated the call by President Mahama to all to cease fire, after the Supreme Court ruling, and focus on the business of governance.
Other issues to be discussed include, property right of spouses, Ghana Library Services, National Youth and Sports Acts among others.
“This is the first cabinet meeting after the Supreme Court verdict…the Cabinet will consider several issues which may b presented to Parliament for approval”.
Last month, the TUC has said that the ongoing 2012 election challenge case filed by Nana Akufo-Addo, was a contributory factor to the current deplorable state of the economy, and called for its speedy resolution by the Supreme Court.
In a press statement, the TUC detailed what it said is a regression of various sectors of the economy despite some gains.
According to the TUC, the economy in the last five years has made an aggregate improvement as measured by the 8.7 per cent increase in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the relative stability in the inflation rate, which shot up from 8.8 per cent in January this year to 10.6 per cent in April.
General Secretary of the TUC, Kofi Asamoah, publicly admitted the institutions and individuals that support the country’s economy are holding back to see the outcome of the election petition before they commit their input.
The TUC also wants a concerted effort from various stakeholders to deal with corruption, and overspending in election years.
Days after the TUC statement, Minister of Information and Media Relations, Mahama Ayariga, also revealed election petition case had negatively affected the Ghanaian economy.
Mr. Ayariga made the admission on Citi Breakfast Show, while discussing the impact of the election petition case on the economy.
According to MahamaAyariga, “It [election petition case] has become a major stumbling block in the way of the president, as he struggled to work towards improving the economy, the case has taken so much attention in the media, even as the Information Minister to rally the media around key issues, such as healthcare, housing, education and to engage in public consciousness issues has been very challenging.”
Speaking on the decline of foreign investment in the country, he indicated that, “the same way we can’t deny the fact that, investments in the economy, potentially was affected, by people who adopted a wait and see attitude, especially, given how much attention we Ghanaians gave to the court proceedings.”
He added that, “there were people going round telling people that, don’t give in your best yet, this is not the proper team the court is about to declare, who indeed is the proper team, I have no doubt that the on-going case was a major stumbling block on to government activities”