The Member of Parliament for Effutu, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, has sent a strongly-worded petition to President John Mahama to direct the power minister to bring the power purchase agreement between the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and KarPower Ghana Limited to parliament for approval.
Acting as a solicitor for Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah, another New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP who had threatened to take the government to court if it failed to do the right thing, Mr Afenyo-Markin said the agreement which is intended to supply 450 megawatts of power, is in breach of Article 181 Clause 5 of the 1992 Constitution which states that parliament may by a resolution supported by the votes of majority of the Members of Parliament, authorize the government to enter into an agreement for the granting of a loan out of any public fund or public account and that this Article 5 shall, with the necessary modifications by parliament apply to an international business or economic transaction to which the government is a party as it applies to a loan.
‘Mr President, my client is well aware that your government is acting on the advice of your able Attorney-General, but he strongly holds the view that on this occasion, the learned Attorney-General has erred in sanctioning the transaction to be executed without parliamentary approval,’ Afenyo-Markin said in the petition, adding that the president should give an urgent and favourable attention to the petition to avoid the situation where the court might have to intervene in the matter.
According to the Effutu MP, even though his client appreciates the efforts of the president in bringing the regular power outages known popularly as dumsor dumsor – which has persisted for the past three years – to an end, he strongly believes in democratic accountability and transparency, and that was why he had petitioned the president.
‘The people’s representatives who constitute parliament have the sole mandate of approving all international commercial transactions of which the state is a party; and in this particular instance, my client contends that the failure of your government to lay the KarPower purchase agreement in parliament prior to its execution, is not only an usurpation of the mandate of parliament and a breach of the constitution but also an affront to democratic accountability and transparency,’ Afenyo-Markin said in the petition dated March 23, 2015.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr
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