Minority to head to court over swearing in of Speaker as president

The Minority in Parliament says it will head to the Supreme Court to seek a review of its decision endorsing the practice of swearing in of the Speaker as president.

The opposition lawmakers say the tradition is “completely unnecessary,” insisting the non-availability of the president and vice president does not incapacitate them.

Describing the apex court’s earlier ruling on the matter as a disservice to the nation, Kumbungu Member of Parliament (MP) Ras Mubarak said the Minority wants it reversed.

Kumbungu Member of Parliament (MP) Ras Mubarak

He told Joy News’ Joseph Opoku Gakpo Friday the practice has been discarded across the world and has urged Ghana to do same.

The Supreme Court ruled in the Asare v Attorney General (2003) the directive was put in the 1992 Constitution to ensure that the one who exercises the president’s functions is physically present.

The case was filed by Professor Kwaku Asare after the then Speaker Peter Ala Adjetey was sworn in as president on February 24, 2003.

The US-based Ghanaian professor asked for a proper interpretation of Article 60(11) of the Constitution.

The apex court in its ruling held the swearing in of the Speaker in the absence of the president and vice president is not inconsistent with the constitution.

Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye 

But the Minority has expressed its preparedness to settle the matter since the swearing in of the Speaker as president this Saturday will be the second time he will be taking the oath in less than a week.

Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye was sworn in last Sunday after president Akufo-Addo left the country to attend the inauguration of football legend George Weah as Liberia’s president.

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia is on medical leave in the United Kingdom after he was taken ill last Friday. No date has been given for his return.

The president will be leaving the country Saturday to attend an African Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.  He willl also head to South Africa to attend music legend Hugh Masekela’s private funeral.

The Speaker will be sworn in again as president but the Minority has expressed its dissatisfaction with the development.

“We will be seeking for the Supreme Court to review the Article 60(11) [because] the fact that they are outside does not incapacitate them,” Mr Mubarak said.

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