The former Power Minister Dr. Kwabena Donkor is calling for the scrapping of the constitutional provisions requiring the Speaker of Parliament to take over as the acting president in the absence of the President and Vice President respectively.
His call comes after the Speaker of Parliament Prof Aaron Mike Oquaye took the oath of the office of the president and was sworn in by the Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo Sunday, January 21, 2018.
He will act as President in the absence of President Akufo-Addo who is in Liberia to attend the swearing in ceremony of president-elect George Oppong Weah and Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia who is also in the UK for medical attention–leaving a vacuum at the presidency. President Akufo-Addo is expected to return to the country on Tuesday, January 23, 2018.
The ceremony was in accordance with Article 60(11) and (12) of the 1992 Constitution which placed the Speaker of Parliament as the next in line in the event that the President and the Vice President are not available to execute presidential functions in the country.
“I think the arrangement has outlived its usefulness,” the former Power Minister who is also the lawmaker for Pru East snorted in an exclusive in interview with Starr News’ Parliamentary Correspondent Ibrahim Alhassan Sunday.
For him, the absence of the President and the Vice President, should not lead to a swearing in saying, “In any case if it is an executive function the President has a Chief of Staff. So I sincerely think as a nation we should take a second look at that constitutional provision [s].”
According to him, the current arrangement allows for existence of two Commanders in chief of the Ghana Armed Forces.
“I sincerely think that there should be a constitutional amendment so that wherever the president is, he still remains the president of the republic of Ghana.
“If he is on leave that is a very different issue or if he is incapacitated. But as long as he is representing the country on official business he does not cease to be the president of Ghana. Are we now saying we have two presidents? That is the implication,” he told Alhassan.