(Bloomberg) -- Ghana’s top two contenders for president have denounced homosexuality, without saying if they would sign a draconian anti-LGBTQ bill into a law that could have severe repercussions for the nation’s finances.

The Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill seeks to punish homosexuality with up to three years in prison. It also forces anyone who knows someone is gay to report them to authorities, and prevents journalists from producing content seen to be sympathetic to LGBTQ people. 

President Nana Akufo-Addo, who has nine months left in office, has declined to consider the bill until a legal case challenging its constitutionality at the Supreme Court is settled. It only requires presidential assent to become law.

Read More: Ghana Anti-LGBTQ Bill Risks $3.8 Billion of World Bank Support

If endorsed, the punitive law could jeopardize $3.8 billion of World Bank funding over the next five-to-six years, according to Ghana’s Finance Ministry. It could also derail a $3 billion bailout program from the International Monetary Fund and hurt the country’s efforts to restructure $20 billion of external debt, it said.

Akufo-Addo’s vice president and preferred successor, Mahamudu Bawumia, had stayed mum on the issue until Thursday, when he addressed fellow worshipers at the Kumasi Central Mosque in the country’s second-biggest city.

“I would like to use this opportunity to personally comment on the raging issue of LGBTQ in Ghana,” he said, while celebrating the Muslim holiday of Eid-al-Fitr. 

“As a Muslim, my view on this matter aligns with the position of my religious faith,” Bawumia said. “Therefore, I personally cannot support what my religion, and indeed all the major religions in Ghana, as well as our societal norms and values clearly and unequivocally forbid.” 

Read more: Ghana Joins Africa Nations Seeking Jail for LGBTQ People

The ruling-party candidate’s comments underscore how the rights of sexual minorities are being politicized ahead of Dec. 7 elections. His main rival, former president John Mahama, made similar comments two months ago, telling Christian clergy that he didn’t believe in being transgender and that his faith didn’t recognize same-sex marriage. 

Neither candidate has explicitly said whether or not they would approve the bill, which Ghana’s parliament passed in February. 

An opinion poll by Accra-based Global InfoAnalytics earlier this month found that the bill’s enactment wouldn’t influence the vote of half of the respondents sampled, 13% had no opinion and 37% said it would sway their decision. An earlier survey by the pollster identified the economy, jobs and education as top election issues.

(Adds recent poll on voter attitude to proposed legislation in last paragraph)

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