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Revisit Constitutional Review Commission’s whitepaper on Speaker as prez – lawyer

A private legal practitioner Martin Kpebu says it is about time recommendations made by the Constitutional Review Commission are implemented.

The legal practitioner was speaking on TV3’s New Day on calls for the amendment of Article 60 (11 and 12) of the Constitution of Ghana where the Speaker of Parliament is sworn in to act as the president in the absence of the president and the vice.

“We can revisit the work of the Constitutional Review Commission and mount pressure to see about implementing proposals that were made so that in the specific circumstances of the entrenched position, we should have a referendum…

“I think I will join the chorus that perhaps we should look for a referendum, we should pursue that,” he opined.

Article 60 clause 11 of the Constitution states “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.”

Clause 12 further states, “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”.

According to Martin Kpebu, the court has made it clear on many occasions that the Speaker of Parliament has to be sworn in once both the president and his vice are out of the country.

“The Court is not happy to just legislate anyhow, we have been there a number of times so sometimes they tell you clearly that look, don’t think that you must always come this court for interpretation, so indirectly what they are trying to tell you is that there are other avenues. And in this case thankfully, we even have the report of the Constitutional Review Commission.”

There have been several debates and calls from some Members of Parliament for the amendment of the said Article.

The issue has come up for discussion in the past week, following the swearing in of the Speaker of Parliament Professor Mike Aaron Oquaye as President on two separate occasions within one week.

The Speaker was sworn in on Sunday January 21 as the acting president when the president travelled to Liberia.

Professor Oquaye has again been sworn in today January 27 to act because President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has left the country for Ethiopia to participate in the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU).

Vice President Dr. Bawumia has been on a medical leave for the past week in the United Kingdom.

By Irene Amesimeku |3news.com| Ghana

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