Ghana’s Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho, has assumed the country’s Presidency for a limited period of four days as both the President, John Mahama and his Vice are out of the country.
Mr Adjaho was sworn in a while ago by Chief Justice Georgina T. Wood at the Parliament House in Accra amidst cheers from the minority Members of Parliament who shouted “Presido” repeatedly. He took the Presidential oath and signed the Presidential Oath book.
The minority MPs want Mr Adjaho, who can best be described as a temporary or caretaker President, to use the opportunity to announce a ministerial reshuffle of the Mahama-led government, TV3’s Parliamentary correspondent, Evelyn Tengmaa reports
President Mahama left Accra Wednesday morning for Glasgow in the United Kingdom on official visit where he is scheduled to observe the First Minister’s question time and address a meeting of parliamentarians. He is expected to return on March 19.
His vice, Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur arrived in New Delhi, India on Monday for a two-day investment summit on Africa. It is not clear when he is likely to return as official communication did not state.
Although the 1992 Constitution prescribes that the Speaker be sworn into office to act as President any time the President and his vice are out of the country, Mr. Adjaho on two occasions on November 5 and 7, 2015, declined to be sworn as the acting President when both the President and his Vice were out of the country on official duties.
He explained to the House that he had, in consultation with the Chief Justice, agreed that since he had taken the same oath on October 19, 2013 when the President and his vice were out of the country, there was no need for him to do so again.
But the Supreme Court in December last year ruled Mr Doe Adjaho breached Article 60 (11)-(12) of the 1992 Constitution by the said refusal that received mixed reaction from Parliamentarians and governance experts.
TV3’s Evelyn Tengmaa reports Wednesday morning that Mr. Doe Adjaho announced few minutes into parliamentary proceedings that he had received a communication from the Presidency that President Mahama was leaving the jurisdiction.
He said the Vice President already out of the country and for that reason he was to be sworn as the acting President.
“Mr Speaker then left his seat for the First Deputy Speaker, Ebo Barton-Odro to take over the proceedings as he left the chamber,” Evelyn reports.
She reports that few minutes later Mr Adjaho and Mrs Wood came into the chamber where the Chief Justice administered the Presidential oath to Mr Adjaho who had in previous occasion refused to be sworn-in.
In that landmark Supreme Court ruling, the nine-member panel, presided over by Mrs Justice Sophia Akuffo, averred that the “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 Daily Graphic reported
“The Speaker is obliged to swear the oath each time he assumes the Office of the President. There is no ambiguity in articles 60 (11) and 60 (12),” the report quoted Mr Justice Sulley Gbadegbe, who read the court’s decision.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|tv3network.com|Ghana