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Minority hints of going to Supreme Court over Speaker’s swearing-in

The Minority in parliament has hinted of going to the Supreme Court to challenge the swearing in of the Speaker of Parliament as acting President whenever the President and the Vice President are out of the country.

The Speaker of Parliament Professor Mike Oquaye is expected to be sworn in as acting President of Ghana for the second time in a week.

This is because President Akufo-Addo will leave for an AU summit in Ethiopia on Saturday and the Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia is on a medical leave in London.

Prof Ocquaye assumed the position of president from last Saturday up until Tuesday. At the time both the president and his vice were out of the country.

Mr Akufo-Addo left for the investiture of new Liberian President Oppong Weah in Monrovia while his vice, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, is on a medical leave in the UK.

Speaking on the development, Minority’s spokesperson on Constitutional and Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Inusah Fuseini, told Accra-based Starr FM that swearing in the Speaker in the absence of the President and his Vice is unconstitutional.

“Yes, I think that we have engaged in constitutional illegality, an unconstitutionality all these while by reading into article 60 (11) of the word Absent which clearly is not part of that provision,” he said.

The Supreme Court in a unanimous decision in 2014 ruled that the Speaker must be sworn in as the president if the both the President and the Vice were outside the jurisdiction.

“Speaker of Parliament shall always, before assuming the functions of the Office of President when the President and the Vice-President are unable to perform their functions, take and subscribe to the oath set out in relation to the Office of President,” the nine member panel had said.

However, Mr Iddirisu opines:“I think that we must have a definite pronouncement on this matter because it will become an embarrassment.

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“Because now that the Vice President is not available and nobody knows when the Vice President will come and the President will continue to perform the functions of the office of the President, within territory and outside territory you can be sure that we will continuously be called back to this house to swear in the [Speaker].”

“The Minority is prepared to take the matter up for a definite pronouncement because there is no alternative President in this country,” he added.

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