Politics of 2014-04-29

2 NDC, NPP MPs endorse EPAs but CPP, PPP say no!

Although the two major political parties (NDC and NPP) have yet to state their official positions on the controversial Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU, two of their representatives in parliament say they are in favour of Ghana signing the trade agreement.

The National Democratic Congress' MP for Abokobi Madina, Alhaji Amadu Sorogo and the New patriotic Party's MP Joseph Boakye Danquah-Adu, have endorsed Ghana signing the agreements being negotiated between the European Union and the African Caribbean Pacific (ACP) countries.

According to the two MPs, it is in the best interest of Ghana to sign the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs).

They stated on 'Inside Afrika' on Radio Univers that regardless of protests from many Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) over the EPAs, the deal is good for Ghana.

The discussion sought to establish the position of the country's political parties on the contentious EPAs. ECOWAS has deferred to June, its decision on the agreement but Ghana has indicated it will support the decision of the regional body.

Alhaji Amadu Sorogo, who is also a member of the committee on Trade and Industry of Parliament, insists currently, the country does not have any better alternative to the European market.

The position of the NDC MP attracted support from his colleague from the NPP, Mr. J.B Danquah-Adu.

"...I understand what the EPA would do for my constituents...If during the NPP regime, the Interim EPA was signed and during NDC regime we are having to go through a regional EPA where we are even getting better terms than the Interim EPA was offering us, then I don’t see how we can go against it”.

Contrary to the position of the NPP and NDC Members of Parliament, representatives of the Conventions People's Party (CPP) and the Progressive People's Party (PPP) on the programme, kicked against moves to get Ghana to sign the EPAs.

Chairperson of the CPP, Samia Yaba Nkrumah said her party supports the CSOs that have spoken out against the EPAs.

According to Samia, “these agreements with the EU will work against the interest of the country.” In this regard, Ms. Nkrumah announced, the CPP would organise a news conference at the party’s headquarters on Wednesday, to explain to Ghanaians why "we oppose the agreement".

On his part, William Dorworkpo of the PPP stated: “We want to use the state's purchasing power to support our local industries and make them strong…now standing on that pillar certainly, we would not be in favour of the EPAs."