Wednesday, July 10, 2024

NPP Govt’s Signing of New Power Pacts is a Vindication of the Erstwhile NDC Govt Led by John Mahama

The Deputy Minority Leader and Member of Parliament for the Ellembele constituency, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah has slammed the President Akufo Addo-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) government for signing two new Take-or-Pay Power Pact Agreements (PPAs) seeking to increase the country’s power generation capacity when they criticized such a decision as reckless when they were in opposition.
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President’s Refusal to Sign PMB Bills Untenable – PNAfrica’s Sammy Obeng

The Executive Directed Directed of the Parliamentary Network Africa (PNAfrica), Sammy Obeng, has expressed concerns about President Akufo Addo’s spirited defence of his position not to assent to a couple of Private Member Bills Passed by the Parliament of Ghana.

The Leader of the Parliamentary Monitoring Civil Society Organization headquartered in Ghana, has urged the President to concentrate on playing his role as the head of the Executive arm of Government and leave the interpretation of the Constitution to the Judiciary.

Sammy Obeng wrote on his social media pages to question the validity of the President’s citing constitutional breach of as a reason to decline the signing of the Bills that have gone through all the required legislative due processes by a competent Legislative body.

Below is the full text of his write up.

On 29th December 2020, our President assented to the first Private Members Bill (PMB) which is now known as the Road Traffic (Amendment) Act 2020 (Act 1054).

That piece of legislation, sponsored by the following MPs: Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Haruna Iddrisu, Ras Mubarak and Ben Abdallah Banda, has its long title as “AN ACT to amend the Road Traffic Act, 2004 (Act 683) to proscribe acts that constitute dangerous driving that result in the injury or death of a human foetus or dangerous cycling that result in the injury or death of a human foetus and for related matters.”

Just like the current PMBs in question, Act 1054 also has the same concerns of prison terms and the cost to Ghana (taking care of inmates, health’s etc) which have been cited by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as reasons why he’s refusing to sign these new passed Bills.

In his Memorandum to the Speaker of Parliament of Ghana, the President cited the absence of fiscal impact assessment accompanying these Bills as per PFM Act 921 as another concern.

I am waiting to see any single Bill in Parliament (aside the attempts by the Research Department of Parliament on the RTI Bill when it was before the House), that has come with a fiscal impact assessment in the way the PFM Act requires.

It is my considered opinion that the (un)constitutional nature of a bill passed by parliament should not lie in the mouth of the President to determine. When he does what the Constitution mandates him to do, he can instruct for the issue to be brought before the body clothed with the power to interpret the Constitution to do its job.

We need to stand up to a President who is resorting to covert ways to kill the PMB regime in Ghana, a situation that will erode some of the modest gains made with our parliamentary practice.

I do not want to talk about the fact that one of the Bills the President appears to be vetoing – Criminal Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2022 – is already clocked in as Act 1101 following what we know as the President’s move on that Bill on 2nd August 2023.

Is this new thinking of the President an afterthought?

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