The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Michael Aaron Oquaye has been sworn into office as acting President of the Republic of Ghana following the unexpected absence of President Nana Akufo-Addo and the current Vice-President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.
This is in fulfilment of Article 60 (11) and (12) of the 1992 constitution.
Clause 11 stated that “Where the President and the Vice President are both unable to perform the functions of the President, the Speaker shall perform those functions until the President or the Vice President is able to perform those functions or a new Vice President assumes office, as the case may be”.
Article 60 (12) states that ” 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 “.
Chief Justice, Justice Sophia Akuffo administered the Oath of Allegiance and the Presidential oath to the Speaker in front of Members of Parliament in Accra on Sunday.
Prof Oquaye’s temporal assumption to the highest office of the land follows President Akufo-Addo departure to Monrovia, Liberia to attend the Presidential inauguration of President elect of Liberia, Senator George Oppon Weah.
Vice President, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia is also currently receiving medical attention outside the country.
A communication from the President in accordance with article 59 of the 1992 constitution by the Speaker indicates that the President who left the shores of the country on Sunday, January, 21 for the inaugural event will return on Tuesday, January, 23, 2018.
Majority leader, Osei-Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, emphasized to interpret Article 60 (8) and 60 11) in tandem.
He proposed the need for a constitutional amendment to resolve the ambiguities.
Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu called for a need to adequately resolve the interpretational bottleneck with the provision once and for all emphasising that the President’s absence from Ghana is not same as unable to perform functions.
He commended the Speaker for assuming that role but said Nana Addo is still the President of Ghana.
He wished the Vice President well and expressed the hope that he recovers quickly and return to work.
Second Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu per Order 13(2) of the Standing Orders of Parliament recalled the house for the swearing in ceremony to fill the political vacuum created as a result.
Provisions of Order 13(2) requires that in the unavoidable absence of the Speaker, the First Deputy Speaker shall perform the duties and exercise the authority of Mr Speaker in relation to all proceedings if the House until Mr Speaker resumes the Chair, without any further communication to the House.
The house has accordingly adjourn sine die but is expected to resume on Tuesday, 23rd January,2018.