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Cablegate: Ghanaqs Finance Minister Dead

VZCZCXYZ0020
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHAR #1242 2691330
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 251330Z SEP 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY ACCRA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7044
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA IMMEDIATE 2098

UNCLAS ACCRA 001242

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV EFIN SF GH
SUBJECT: GHANAQS FINANCE MINISTER DEAD

1. (SBU) Ghanaian media is reporting that Ghana's
Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Kwadwo
Baah-Wiredu, has passed away in South Africa. Baah-
Wiredu, one of President Kufour's most popular
ministers, was in South Africa for medical treatment
for an undisclosed illness since last week. The
government has yet to react officially to the death,
but Ambassador Teitelbaum expressed his condolences
during a call on Vice President Mahama on the
afternoon of August 24. Baah-Wiredu was 57 years
old and has held different Cabinet portfolios
continuously since 2001.

2. (SBU) The popular Finance Minister's death is an
unwelcome development for the Ghanaian government.
The effect on the governing partyQs presidential
campaign is unclear, but likely minimal.

3. (SBU) Contacts in the ministry confirmed that Dr.
Anthony Akoto Osei, the current Minister of State,
would be the leading candidate to replace Baah-
Wiredu if a caretaker is named for the remaining
three months of the administration. Dr. Osei is
already heavily involved in the day-to-day running
of the ministry. However, they stressed that the
government has not made a decision on whether to
fill the void. None of our contacts expect a change
of course in economic or financial policy due to
Baah-Wiredu's death.

TEITELBAUM

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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