Ghana

Majority caucus in Parliament dares NDC to ‘big debate’

 The Majority in Parliament is challenging the opposition Na­tional Democratic Congress (NDC) to a debate between their respec­tive presidential candidates, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and John Dramani Mahama, on issues to better inform the electorate ahead of the December general election.

The caucus is of the view that with the 2024 presidential and parliamentary polls fast approach­ing, the opposition party has ac­tivated its propaganda machinery to confuse the voting public.

Majority Leader, Alexan­der Afenyo-Markin, at a press conference in Accra yesterday said the governing New Patriotic Party’s presidential candidate, Dr Bawumia, is ready to take on the NDC’s Mahama on the “big debate” on the issues that affect Ghanaians.

“Let us argue and make state­ments based on facts. The NDC minority is engaged in political mischief (and they must be stopped in their tracts).

“What matters to the Ghanaian people is issues of their welfare. I challenge them to get on board and let’s have the big debate. Our leader is ready to engage their flag bearer on issues of governance to better the lot of the Ghanaian, and that is what they should be ready for,” Mr Afenyo-Markin, MP, Effutu, said.

Mr Afenyo-Markin’s challenge was predicated on what he said had become the “vile propagan­da” of the opposition party ahead of the December 7 polls; a propa­ganda he said was sabotaging the economy.

The minority last week accused the government of signing multi-year contracts without recourse to the Public Financial Management Act.

“If you read Section 33 of the Public Financial Management Act, when you commit as a cov­ered entity, when you commit to sign a multi-year contract, which is a contract that spans years, you first have to go to the Ministry of Finance and you have to come to Parliament.

“So let me use this opportunity to send a strong warning and signal to all these agencies that when you do so you breach the Public Financial Management Act and it comes with conse­quences including imprisonment, so I think that they should take note and follow the law and do what is proper,” Minority spokes­person on Mines and Energy, John Jinapor, had alleged.

But Mr Afenyo-Markin said the Minority had misread and misinterpreted the law.

“The contract in question must be an international transaction. That is where our colleagues should pay attention. It does not mean that every contract with a multi-year value should come to parliament. So they should stop misleading the public.

“They should stop peddling falsehoods. Every government engages the private sector. The object of that is to create space for economic growth.”

In his view, such posture scares away investors and Ghana would be the loser at the end.

“So if you recklessly scare off the businessmen and where you know that what you are putting out is not true, what you are trying to do is to sabotage the economy.

“So I would want to encourage them that we know it’s an election year but let’s argue on facts. Let’s put out the facts,” he stated.

 BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI