March 21, 2024

In a rather unexpected response from parliament, the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin has served notice parliament would not be able to consider the approval of the new ministerial appointees.

According to the Speaker a law suit has been filed against the Speaker and parliament. And taking cue from the precedent set by the president, parliament is an able to act until the determination of the case.

“Be that as it may, Hon Members, I also bring to your attention, the receipt of a process from the Courts titled Rockson-Nelson Etse K. Dafeamekpor vrs. The Speaker of Parliament and the Attorney -General (Suit no. J1/12/2024) which process was served on the 19th of March 2024 and an injunction motion on notice seeking to restrain the Speaker from proceeding with the vetting and approval of the names of the persons submitted by His Excellency the President until the provisions of the constitution are satisfied.

Hon. Members in the light of this process, the House is unable to continue to consider the nominations of His Excellency the President in the “spirit of upholding the rule of law “until after the determination of the application for interlocutory injunction by the Supreme Court.”

In a formal statement on the floor of the House, the Speaker expressed his profound regret concerning the conduct displayed by the Presidency following Parliament’s successful unanimous passage of the Human Sexual Values Bill, 2021.

He said the behaviour exhibited by the Presidency in refusing to accept the transmission of this bill not only deviates from established democratic practices but also undermines the spirit of cooperative governance and mutual respect for the arms of government.

“This is a principle that forms the cornerstone of our political system. Such actions, if left unchecked, risk setting dangerous precedents that threaten the integrity and functionality of our democratic institutions.”

Citing a disturbing pattern emerging from the Executive branch, which points to a concerning disregard for the foundational principles enshrined in the Constitution, 1992, he said the President’s recent refusal to accept the transmission of the Human Sexual Values Bill adds to similar action when the president refused to exercise same “to three critical bills that had been duly passed via as a Private Members’ Bill.

He indicated that he had course to speak about the president’s refusal to assent to bills; and “underscored the troubling nature of the President’s justifications for his actions, or rather, the lack thereof, particularly highlighting that his failure to assent on grounds of alleged unconstitutionality, paradoxically stood in violation of the very constitution he invoked.”

Letter From The Office Of The Secretary To Parliament On 18 March, 2024, the Executive Secretary to the President, Nana Asante Bediatuo, issued a letter to the Clerk to Parliament directing him to cease and desist from submitting the Human Sexual Values Bill, 2021 to the President until the matters before the Supreme Courts are resolved.

The Executive Secretary in the said letter noted that the Office of the President was aware of two pending applications for an order of interlocutory injunction seeking to restrain the Clerk and Parliament from transmitting the Bill to the President.

And that the Attorney General had on 18 March 2024 informed the President that he had received the two applications and had advised the President not to take any step in relation to the Bill until matters raised by the suit are determined by the Supreme Court. As a result, the Presidency conveyed to the Clerk that it was unable to accept transmission of the Bill.