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Politics of Monday, 29 March 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

I never said Bediatuo unilaterally wrote letter capping budgets of legislature, judiciary – Kyei-Mensah

Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs has rubbished media reports attributed to him as saying that Nana Asante Bediatuo, the executive secretary to the president, wrote the letter to cap the budget for the legislature and judiciary without approval from the president.

The Majority Leader insisted in a Joy News interview that the reports are untrue as he did not at any point state that Asante Bediatuo unilaterally wrote the letter which infuriated Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin.

He claims that the only statement he made on the matter was saying that discussions on the topic were not concluded before President Akufo-Addo left the shores of Ghana for the Ivory Coast.

“The interviewer had asked whether we had really engaged the President. And I said yes, there was an engagement with the President, unfortunately, the engagement was not conclusive until the President left. And then the Secretary thinking that we had about ended, wrote to us with respect to the request to Parliament and the Judiciary.

“Nothing in what I said suggests to anybody that Nana Asante Bediatuo acted unilaterally and that there was no engagement. So it came as a surprise that it was interpreted to mean that I had suggested that Nana Asante Bediatuo had acted unilaterally,” he stressed.

He continued, “There was no such communication from me. And if that was the understanding of the person who was interviewing me, I think it was most unfortunate.

What Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said

Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu on March 25 alluded to the fact that Asante Bediatuo might have written the letter to Parliament without full appreciation of the matter.

“We were having a discussion and the president left for Ivory Coast and in his absence, the letter came. I was under the impression that the President who has done the communication or continued the discussion with his secretary, [but] it turned out that the discussion was not conclusive and on account of what has been happening earlier, the Secretary wrote the letter. I think it is yesterday’s issue, we’ve now agreed that the proper thing should be done.”

“On account of what had been happening earlier, the Secretary wrote the letter. I think it’s a yesterday issue, but we have agreed that the proper thing should be done,” he further said.

What is the letter about

The letter to Parliament was about announcing the intention of the government to cap the budget for both the legislature and judiciary.

Alban Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament did not take kindly to this letter and threatened to block approval of the 2021 budget.

Cool heads eventually prevailed as the government rescinded its decision to cut the budget estimate of Parliament.

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