March 20, 2024

The Member of Parliament for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu has accused the Office of the President of hindering the work of Parliament.

This follows an official letter to Parliament, requesting the House to refrain from transmitting the Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, commonly referred to as the Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill, to President Akufo-Addo for his assent.

Addressing members of the Parliamentary Press Corps (PPC) on Tuesday, March 19, 2024, Mr. Iddrisu stressed that the letter, which seeks to prevent Parliament from performing its duties, reflects President Akufo-Addo’s “quest for predominance” over other organs of state including the legislature.

“That is unacceptable and must be fought by all persons who love democracy and cherish the principles and values of the 1992 Constitution. This is a monumental threat to Ghana’s democracy and a monumental threat to Parliament as an institution. By Article 93 we are clothed with legislative authority and mandate,” he said.

The former Minority Leader also called for the letter signed by the Secretary to the President, Nana Asante Bediatuo, to be disregarded for failing to follow Parliament’s standing orders.

“Politically, what power does the President’s secretary have writing to the Clerk of Parliament and not the President himself writing directly to the Speaker as is required of our Standing Orders, so that officially it can be read as communication from the President?” Mr Iddrisu asked.

So ideally this paper means nothing and should be ignored by the Clerk because the President must sign communication to Parliament addressed to the Speaker, he noted.

On Monday, March 18, a letter addressed to Parliament and signed by the Secretary to the President, Nana Asante Bediatuo, had requested Parliament to refrain from sending the anti-gay bill to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his assent.

The decision, according to Nana Bediatuo Asante, stems from the acknowledgment of two pending applications for an order of interlocutory injunction before the Supreme Court.

The letter emphasized that it would be improper for Parliament to proceed with transmitting the Bill to President Akufo-Addo for any action until the matters before the court are addressed.

Furthermore, it was disclosed that the Attorney-General has advised the President against taking any action regarding the Bill until the issues raised in the legal suits are resolved by the Supreme Court.

However, the Tamale South MP insists that an attempt to seek an injunction to prevent the passing of the bill is not the same thing as an injunction granted.

“But more importantly, Parliament cannot be injuncted not to perform its lawful function as the legislature of Ghana,” he explained.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/