The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for South Dayi, Rockson-Nelson Etse Dafeamekpor, is cautioning the legislature to be mindful of its integrity and ensure that due process is followed before considering the approval of the Ghana-U.S. military pact.
To him, the laying of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) covering the relationship between the Republic of Ghana and the government of the United States of America concerning the deepening of the military relationship between the countries before Parliament without the signatures of the parties is a clear case of an attempt by the Executive to use the backdoor process to approve the agreement.
Such attempt, he noted, should be resisted by all MPs and well meaning Ghanaians who have the country at heart.
Interacting with some journalists over the Ghana-U.S. military pact on the sidelines of Parliamentary sitting in Accra, Wednesday, Mr. Dafeamekpor noted that “We have just discovered that the MoU that they are seeking Parliament to ratify has not been executed. The essence is that they are asking Parliament to as it were amend the terms of the MoU that the Executive intends to enter into with the United States of America concerning our military relationship. I am raising a fundamental point that it is not the place of Parliament to draft agreements for the Executive. There is no signature on the MoU that they submitted to Parliament”.
He added “Aside that, the memo accompanying the memoranda to cabinet and cabinet’s response to the Minister of Defense says, particularly, in paragraph 3 that Cabinet approved the Memorandum and recommended same for ratification. So, the exercise that we are being called upon to engage in is to ratify. We are simply to look at it and by consensus or by voting, approve the agreement. The document that they have brought to Parliament is neither an agreement nor a Bill. So, we are asking the government to do the appropriate thing. They should take back the Memorandum, execute it and bring it to Parliament for ratification. They want to use the backdoor process to leave the agreement to Parliament to review so that if there is a problem tomorrow, then Parliament is to be blamed”.
According to him, the agreement in question is akin to a treaty and therefore, the procedure under which the Executive could only come to Parliament for ratification is contained in Article 75 of the 1992 Constitution.
“We have discovered this fundamental flaw in terms of procedure and I am bringing it to the attention of every well meaning Ghanaian that this procedure is flawed and it ought not to be accepted. Parliament is being hoodwinked. Nobody realized and raised the fundamental issue yesterday on the floor so we are raising this at the Committee level and I don’t think that I as a Member of Parliament will be part of this process”, he averred.