Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has accused the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of exerting pressure on the Ghanaian Parliament to swiftly pass several bills, including the Affirmative Action Bill, under a certificate of urgency.
Speaker Bagbin alleged that these actions are tied to the conditions set by the IMF for the disbursement of the remaining funds from the USD3 billion credit facility for Ghana.
Speaking at the Speaker’s Breakfast Meeting on Monday, 20 November 2023, the Speaker of Parliament indicated the House’s refusal to succumb to pressure from the IMF regarding the Affirmative Action Gender Equality Bill.
He emphasised the critical nature of the bill, which aims to address gender imbalances in decision-making spaces, and stated firmly.
“Please, it won’t happen; we won’t pass it under a certificate of urgency,” Speaker Bagbin stated.
He went on to highlight the perceived influence of the IMF in various provisions of the national budget. He indicated that the IMF's arm is discernible in several aspects of the budget, raising concerns about the extent of external influence on Ghana's fiscal policies.
The Speaker stressed the importance of consulting critical stakeholders before passing crucial bills, such as the Affirmative Action Gender Equality Bill.
Speaker Bagbin insisted that Parliament will not be dictated by the IMF, stressing the need for collaboration with stakeholders to ensure effective implementation.
The Affirmative Action Bill, currently under consideration, aims to rectify the historically low representation of women in decision-making spaces.
The Speaker Bagbin noted that the bill is pivotal for promoting democracy and development through the comprehensive participation of all segments of society.
He also reiterated Parliament's commitment to securing the buy-in of critical stakeholders before passing the Affirmative Action Bill into law, while emphasising the importance of a consultative approach to ensure that the implementation of the bill aligns with the expectations and needs of the diverse stakeholders involved.