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Speaker Alban Bagbin responds to Prez Akufo-Addo’s rejection of Bills passed by Parliament

Environmental Protection Bill 2023

Ghana's Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Bagbin

By Edzorna Francis Mensah

Speaker of Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin has promised to officially write to President Akufo-Addo over his decision to reject the Criminal Offences Amendment Bill on Witchcraft and others and subject the same to the primary for debate.

Mr. Speaker meantime described the basis for the action of the President as unconstitutional adding that, the President was ill-advised and that he will within a week reply to President Akufo-Addo accordingly.

In a letter to the Speaker of Par­liament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, read by him on the floor on Monday 18th December 2023, the President said that in as much as he supports the object of the bills, same must pass the consti­tutional threshold first and foremost.

The President stressed the fact that “The contents of these bills have my support but we need to ensure that they are enacted in line with constitutional order and legislative processes,”.

The letter comes on the back of a meeting the President had with the Speaker together with the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and co following the latter’s dissatisfaction with the failure of the President to assent to the bill within the constitutionally accepted days.

The Speaker at plenary on Mon­day, November 27, 2023 directed the table office to strike out the advertised Criminal Offences Amendment Bill from the schedule of the House, BECAUSE same had been passed and was only awaiting assent from the President.

But the President argued in his letter submitted to the House on December, 18th, 2023 noted that “after the thorough consideration and in light of the constitutional issues I pointed out during our meeting, I am unable to assert to these bills.

“The concerns raised are significant and have profound implications for the constitutional integrity for these legislative actions.”

The President held that “any leg­islation we pass must be in complete alignment with the provisions of our constitution.”

But the Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has registered his strong disagreement with the decision of President Akufo-Addo not to assent to the Criminal Offences Amendment Bill on Witchcraft the Armed Forces Amendment Bill and another Criminal Offences Amendment Bill citing constitutional breaches.

Alban Bagbin after reading the correspondence from the President in the Chamber expressed his strongest disagreement arguing the move by the President in itself is unconditional.

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