General News Tue, 30 Jan 2018

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Minority head to court over Swearing in of Speaker as President

Minority in Parliament is set to go to court to seek clarity and a review of constitutional provisions which require the swearing of the Speaker of Parliament as President in the absence of the President of the Republic.

There has been growing course for the review of Article 60 of the constitution which allows the swearing in of the Speaker as President in recent times.

Speaking on 3FM’s Sunrise on the issue, Tamale Central MP Alhaji Inusah Fuseini said the court has not properly settled the issue regarding the confusion surrounding the judgment it passed.

According to the Member of Parliament, the Minority is not going to the Supreme Court to challenge the basis of the Swearing-in of the Speaker any time the President or his Vice are out of the country, but on the basis of their inability to perform their function.

”We want clarity; because we have read Article 60 (8) and (11) and we think that they are not the same. On the true and proper interpretation of Article 60 (8) and (11), it is only when the President and his Vice are unable to perform their function that the speaker ought to be sworn in,” he said.

Article 60 clause 11 of the Constitution states “Where the President and the Vice-President are both unable to perform the functions of the President, the Speaker of Parliament shall perform those functions until the President or the Vice-President is able to perform those functions or a new President assumes office, as the case may be.”

Article 60 (8) also stipulates ”Whenever the President is absent from Ghana or is for any other reason unable to perform the functions of his office, the Vice-President shall perform the function of the President until the President returns or is able to perform.”

According to Inusah Fuseini the provision focuses on the inability of the President and his Vice which speaks to the issue of incapacity.

“We believe executive power is indivisive, so why are we swearing in another president.”

The MP stated, the Minority is in talks with their lawyers who are preparing the statement of case, and will soon hit the Supreme Court.

The action of the Minority comes on the back of recent happenings where President Akufo-Addo has been out of the country on two separate occasions within the same week, while his Vice Dr. Bawumia has also been on a medical leave in the UK.

This resulted in the Swearing In of the Speaker of Parliament Professor Mike Aaron Oquaye as President on both occasions.

He was sworn in on Sunday January 21 as the acting president when the president travelled to Liberia, and again on January 27 when President-Akufo-Addo left the country for Ethiopia to participate in the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU).

Source: 3 News

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