Members, based on our earlier discussion on the floor, Madam Speaker assumes duty as Acting President tomorrow after - [Interruptions] -- the departure of His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Ghana tomorrow.
Hon Members, before I formally
adjourn the House, I will find out from the Leaders whether they have anything to say.
Minority Leader (Mr Osei Kyei-
Mensah-Bonsu): Mr Speaker, whatever word that passes from my mouth by way
Mr Speaker, I think it is important
to observe, as I indicated earlier in the morning, that communication relating to the exiting of the President from the jurisdiction tomorrow morning at 7.00 a.m. has come in good time as compared to what happened the previous time when Madam Speaker had to be sworn-in as Acting President. So, as I indicated in the morning, I think we should all commend the Presidency for listening to what ought to have been done in the earlier instance.
Mr President - [Interruptions.] Mr Speaker, the resort to this vehicle today, we must all appreciate, has not been done before. It is an unchartered terrain; we do know that it is a tight rope that we are walking.
Mr Speaker, what we are doing today derives its strength, as we indicated in the morning, from article 60 (8) of the Constitution, as well as 60 (11) and (12). In the case of article 60 (8), the provision is clear. Whenever the President is absent from Ghana or for any other reason unable to perform the functions of his office, the Vice-President shall perform the functions of the President until the President returns or is able to perform his functions.”
Mr Speaker, noticeably, there are two legs to article 60 (8), that is, whenever the President is physically absent from the jurisdiction or whenever he is unable for any other reason to perform his functions, the Vice-President assumes office.
When the President, the Vice-President and as per article 60 (11) and also unable to perform the functions of the President, the Speaker shall assume such functions.
Mr Speaker, it is relevant to observe
that in the case of the Speaker, in assuming the office, he combines two offices; the President and the Vice-President. So, our
Speaker, after tomorrow 7.00 a.m. will be performing two functions as the President and the Vice President - [Hear! Hear!] So, it is a very important position that our Speaker will be ascending to tomorrow after 7.00 a.m.
Mr Speaker, as I said, there are two ways left for us; the one is to wait until 7.00 a.m. after the departure of the President and have the Speaker sworn-in. That indeed, is the ideal and it has been the thing that this House has done on an earlier occasion.
Mr Speaker, the other time, there was indeed, a long time lapse, that was unacceptable.
Today, there was an attempt to cure what happened the previous time. Mr Speaker, they are practical matters that should concern us in deciding to swear- in the Speaker earlier than the departure time or post-departure time. And as I have said, we have not chartered this territory before; we are not pretending to be doing or be complying with the letter of the Constitution; we intend to comply with the spirit.
It was seen that even the Oaths that were administered were amended. The 0aths are not in the Second Schedule of the Constitution and that clearly should indicate to us that what we are doing, we are walking a tight rope.
But having said that, because as I said the other time, we should be eternally grateful to God even for little mercies, we should be thanking God for the position our Speaker will be assuming post - 7.00 o'clock tomorrow. Until we get there, my congratulations to our Speaker, but the congratulations will be upheld until
I wish her well in her future endeavours.
Majority Leader (Mr Cletus A.
Avoka): Mr Speaker, our Madam has just been sworn-in to serve as the Acting President of the Republic of Ghana with effect from tomorrow, the 10th of November 2010 at 7.00 in the forenoon.
Indeed, this is the second time in less
Mr Speaker, given the background, the noble background of Madam Speaker, as a former Director of Public Prosecutions, as a former Second Deputy Speaker of the Consultative Assembly, a retired Supreme Court Judge and now, substantive Speaker of this august House, who has interacted with the people's representatives for two years now, I know that within the short period that she is going to be there tomorrow, she would take far-reaching decisions. She would be able to take far-reaching decisions that would benefit not just Members of this august House but the entire Ghanaian population and particularly women.
I want to take this opportunity to join
my Colleague the Hon Minority Leader in congratulating Madam Speaker, for this high position and wish her well in the acting capacity.
I would also want to seize this opportunity to thank and commend the Chief Justice for bearing with us, and at a very short notice, normally accepting our invitation to be here to swear-in Madam Speaker.
I would also want to thank His
Excellency the President for giving us sufficient notice for us to galvanise ourselves and to perform this ceremony.
On that note, Mr Speaker, I thank you so much and the time now reading at five minutes after 3.00 o'clock in the afternoon, I beg to move, that we now adjourn proceedings of this august House until 10.00 o'clock tomorrow morning, before we Sit again.