Minority must state position on the EPAs – Mawia Zakaria

The failure by the minority to state their position on the Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU, gives credence to the claim that they are failing to hold government accountable, Dr. Mawia Zakaria has observed.

The Development and Organisation Policy Analyst says the position of the largest opposition bloc in parliament on a major trade agreement such as the EPA, would be critical for the citizenry.

A senior lecturer at the School of Communication Studies of the University of Ghana, Professor Kwame Karikari earlier this week criticised the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), for failing to put government on its toes.

According to the immediate-past Executive Director for the Media Foundation for West Africa, the NPP has failed to hold government accountable on the many issues affecting the economy, although he failed to give specific examples.

In what could be seen as an apparent affirmation of the view expressed by Prof. Karikari, Dr. Zakaria observed members of the minority appeared to be ceding their role to the media. He said although the NPP administration under J.A Kufuor initiated discussions on the EPA, that cannot be taken as the party’s position.

He was speaking Saturday on weekly news analysis programme Newsfile, on Joy FM which was also live on the Joy News channel on Multi TV.

“The EPA is a very critical issue of development of this nation and the position of the minority is critical for the people to understand that they [minority] are indeed working. The position of the minority on the EPA should be made very clear,” he pointed.

Osei Owusu’s frustration
Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for Bekwai constituency in the Ashanti Region, Joe Osei Owusu has rejected the assertion that the minority are not working hard enough.

The ranking member on the committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs noted, “the views of the minority have been succinctly expressed” both in and outside Parliament, recalling forcing the Speaker to call back the house from break when they raised issues with the sale of Merchant Bank -although they failed to get the deal withdrawn.

“Sometimes it is actually frustrating that the people you understand to be the beneficiaries of your argument are the ones who will wave you off…I’m quite disappointed with intellectuals who are actually not following what is going on in the house [parliament].

 “…What we are not doing now is taking to the streets, probably, and that’s why some people think we are asleep. There are issues that but for our contributions, we [Ghana] would not be where we are today,” Mr. Osei Owusu stated.

“We will continue to do what is right”!
Disrespecting Parliament
In another development, former Chief of Staff, Nana Ato Dadzie has cautioned that comments that seek to criticise the work of the minority discriminatorily, could amount to “disrespect of parliament”.

According to him, the minority have their job cut out making them play a restricted role in governance.  

To him, the minority now has the responsibility to do thorough research on policies and come out with constructive criticisms towards building the nation.

“Now it’s [time for] constructive work; sit in [and] do research…” he added.

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