Acting in accordance with the 1992 Constitution, the Speaker of Parliament Edward Doe Adjaho yesterday assumed the office of the President as President John Dramani Mahama and his Vice, Paa Kwasi Amissah Arthur were both out of the country.
Parliament was notified on Tuesday after the Speaker read a letter from the Presidency announcing the President’s imminent departure.
Whilst President John Mahama was in Burkina Faso yesterday to help resolve the political crisis the Vice-President, Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur is also in New Delhi since to participate in the India Economic Forum being organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Government of India.
Meanwhile, something unusual occurred on the floor of Parliament yesterday when the Chief Justice (CJ) Georgina Woode came to the august House to perform the norm of swearing-in the Speaker but somehow the ceremony was called off on the grounds of some technicalities raised by the Speaker and he went ahead to assume the office of the President whilst it lasted.
The Speaker told the House that after a protracted meeting with the CJ in his (Speaker’s) Chamber, it became imperative that there wasn’t the need to take the same oath twice after he had already taken it on September 19, 2013 when the president and his vice were out of the country.
He argued that he was only a ceremonial president for a while and the oath he swore a year ago should still be valid for this occasion.
However, controversy and arguments as to the legitimacy of the whole take-over process erupted on radio talk shows soon after the Speaker assumed office of the President. Some seasoned lawyers who also phoned-in on the various shows expressed serious worries about what they described as unconstitutional precedent.
On other matters brought before the House yesterday, the Sports Minister, Mahama Ayariga refused to answer a specific question posed by Mr. Justice Joe Appiah on how much government spent during the last World Cup in Brazil.
In his response, the Minister said, the President has already set up a commission to investigate all issues surrounding the world cup and he would rather wait for the commission report before putting out any such figures.
But the minority was obviously having non-of-that as its Leader (Hon. Kyei Mensah) forcefully stated that the Parliament is superior to the Presidential Commission and therefore the Speaker must compel the Minister to give clear answers to the question as it is within their right and authority to demand of him.
After some back and forth from both sides of parliament on the matter, the Deputy Speaker in his wisdom ruled that the Minister returned within two weeks to answer the question of how much was spent during the 2014 World Cup
Source: New Crusading Guide
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