March 16, 2016

Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Edward Doe Adjaho is currently the President of Ghana after being sworn in by the Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood Tuesday morning.

This follows the absence of both President John Mahama and his Vice, Kwasi Amissah Arthur from Ghana on state visits to the Republics of Scotland and India respectively.

This is the third time in recent times that the Speaker has acted as President, but in those instances he was sworn in twice.

The Speaker’s swearing is in accordance with Article 60(11) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.

The Supreme Court in December 3, 2015 ruled that Speaker of Parliament Edward Doe Adjaho violated the Constitution when he refused to take the oath of office as President in the absence of both the president and his vice from Ghana.

The apex court of Ghana ruled on the matter brought before it by Chief Executive of Accra-based City FM, Mr. Samuel Atta Mensah, and US-based Ghanaian lawyer, Prof. Stephen Kwaku Asare.

A nine-member Supreme Court panel chaired by Justice Sophia Akuffo ruled that the Speaker is obliged to take the oath of office as president whenever both the president and his vice are out of the jurisdiction.

Article 60 (11) and (12) of the 1992 Constitution states that: “(11) 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.” “(12) 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.”

In line with the Constitutional provision, the Chief Justice Theodora Georgina Wood on two occasions in November last year went to Parliament to swear-in the Speaker in the absence of President John Mahama and his vice Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur.

But on both occasions, Doe Adjaho refused to be sworn in despite accepting to act as president.

He told Members of Parliament there was no point in repeating an oath he had taken in September 2013.