become an Act of Parliament? That is the only fundamental question that must be posed and answered.
In my view, the most important provision of the Constitution that settles this matter and which is consistent with the Webster's Dictionary that the Hon Attorney-General and Minister for Justice has referred to -- and I have the privilege of reading the definition there -- is article 106 (11). In my view, that solves the problem, and Mr. Speaker, with your permission, I quote:
“Without prejudice to the power of Parliament to postpone the operation of a law, a bill shall not become law until it has been duly passed and assented . . .”
We are talking about an act of Parliament, we are not talking about a Bill. So when does a Bill become law? Without the assent of the President, it cannot become law. There is no way, in fact, until he agrees, until he signs under clause 10 which the Hon Minority Leader referred to.
When he vetoes it and returns it, we need two-thirds of this House to do it. Even when it goes back to him, he must assent before it becomes an Act of Parliament. And it is that process in my respective view that we are talking about, and I entirely agree that it is a twinned effort. I agree.
In fact, the former Deputy Attorney- General suggested to me that since the process starts with us in a way before the assent comes, it should be Parliament and President. I think that if you look at article 106 (11) of this Constitution, it stipulates that we cannot have any Act of Parliament without the assent of the President.
In my view, that is the most important -- It has nothing to do with the Executive taking away the law-making powers of Parliament. No Executive will come here and vote on it. All that we do here until the Third Reading when we say it is passed remains a Bill until that last effort comes into play. I do not want to go into detail, I am very clear in my mind, it is consistent with practice, it is not based on what the Americans are doing, it is not based on what is in the Commonwealth.
What I am saying is that until the President of the Republic of Ghana performs that last act, it can never, never be called an Act of Parliament. Therefore, we should use the Constitution to interpret the Constitution.
In any case, if people say that because of the definition of Acts of Parliament, we should include decrees and all those things, are they telling us that we should go back to the military era and define it to include decrees that had been passed? [Interruption.] -- Look at “enactment”; people have referred to the definition of “enactment” which includes “decree”. Does it mean that we should go back and bring -- They are just -- [Interruption] -- I will ignore -- [Laughter.]
So, Mr. Speaker, I just got converted this morning -- [Laughter] -- and I have not hidden the fact that I got converted this morning. And Mr. Speaker, you know my position before you took the Chair. And after I had been converted, I made an effort to convert others -- [Laughter] -- and I did not hide it at all, that the proper thing to do --
Mr. Speaker, on a more serious note, the proper thing to do, looking at the totality of the clauses of the Constitution, is to add the President. But I suggest
that Parliament should come before the President because the President's act is the last act of the process. That is my submission.
T h a n k y o u v e r y m u c h , M r. Speaker.