I still don’t understand Akufo-Addo’s refusal to assent to 3 bills– Speaker Bagbin

Story: News Desk

Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin is still unenthused by President Akufo-Addo’s reluctance to give his assent to three bills passed by Parliament.

This comes days after the Speaker informed Parliament that he disagrees with the decision to not sign the Abolition of Death Penalty/Witchcraft bills into law.

Bagbin contends that the President’s decision not to sign the three private member’s bills reflects a misunderstanding of the constitutional processes in the country.

“Absence of a judicial determination from the Supreme Court, the President’s unilateral assessment of unconstitutionality does not hold legal water. It is a departure from the established legal procedure, norms, and practices that govern our constitutional democracy.

“The appropriate lawful response if there were genuine concerns about the constitutionality of the legislative action of this house would have been to seek judicial review from the Supreme Court.”

In a letter addressed to Parliament, President Akufo-Addo explained that his refusal to sign the Criminal Offences Amendment Bills 2023 Numbers 1 and 2 and the Ghana Armed Forces Amendment Bill 2023 was a result of their financial implications on the consolidated fund and their contravention of the constitution.

The Bills were passed by the House in July 2023 and presented to the President in August and November this year for his assent. 

Speaking on the floor today, the Speaker further indicated that “the steps taken by the president in this matter reflect a misunderstanding of the constitutional process and undermine the principles that uphold our democratic governance.”

“The constitutional responsibility to determine whether a bill falls under Article 108 or not is mandated and it resides in the person presiding over the proceedings.”

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