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General News of Sunday, 21 January 2018

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Swearing in Mike Oquaye as acting President unnecessary – Minority

Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga has said the swearing-in of the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon Prof. Mike Ocquaye as acting President is needless.

Parliament was recalled for the swearing in ceremony of the Speaker, Sunday, as President Nana Akufo-Addo and his vice, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia were out of the country.

While Akufo-Addo left Ghana for Liberia to witness the swearing-in of the West African country’s new president, George Weah, Dr. Bawumia is on a medical leave in the UK.

Hon. Ayariga however maintains that, a trip by the President outside the country does not mean he is unable to perform his functions.

He argued that per the constitution, the Speaker can act as President until Akufo-Addo or Bawumia returns without another swearing-in session.

Citing Article 60 (11) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic, the former Environment Minister said, “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.

Adding that, in Clause (12) of the constitution, “The Speaker shall, before commencing to perform the functions of the President under clause (11) of this article, take and subscribe the oath set out in relation to the office of President.”

On this basis, Mr. Ayariga disputed Parliament’s Sunday recalling, dubbing it as pointless.

Hon. Ayariga further chastised the Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, for altering parts of the Constitution in an effort to make it befitting for the current situation in which the country finds itself.

He held that, the amendment did not receive legislative backing, therefore the Minority will summon Mrs. Akuffo to the floor of Parliament to justify her actions.

“There was an attempt by the Chief Justice to amend the oath to take into consideration the manner in which the speaker is ascending to the role of an acting President. In the one in the constitution it says, elected to the office of the President but if you listened carefully that potion was omitted to take into consideration the procedure by which he became an acting President.”

“So strictly speaking he did not subscribe to the oath set out in the constitution,” he said.



Earlier, a United States-based Ghanaian professor, Kwaku Asare indicated that the development is needless.

“It is important, on days like this, to remind ourselves that nothing in the Constitution requires the Speaker to be sworn in to perform the functions of the President when the President and Vice President are outside the country performing their functions,” he noted on Sunday, January 21.

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