Mr Speaker, let me thank you for the opportunity. I believe I should also appreciate Hon Colleagues, that, though today is a Saturday, they are here to comply with the constitutional requirement.
Mr Speaker, by the happenstance of the President travelling abroad, and the Vice-President being unavailable, Professor Michael Aaron Qquaye is assuming responsibility to perform the functions of the President of the Republic.
Mr Speaker, just as you read to us, I would raise just one or two issues. One, I would want to ask whether the Rt Hon Speaker of Parliament should repeat the Oath of Allegiance?
Mr Speaker, my position is, section 3 of the Oath Act of 1972 is against the repetition of oaths. However, just within a span of less than 10 or 14 days, the same
Rt. Hon Speaker of Parliament, who swore an earlier Oath of Allegiance just some few days ago, is being made to swear another Oath of Allegiance. In my view, that is legally needless, and at best, unnecessary.
Mr Speaker, I have had the opportunity already to say that probably, as I indicated, by the happenstance of the Supreme Court's ruling in the matter of Samuel Atta Mensah and the Attorney-General, we now are obliged to swear in the Rt. Hon Speaker at every other time that the President is not available.
Mr Speaker, I shudder to say that Parliament must look at when a President is unable to perform the functions against when he is absent from the Republic. As to what the Constitution provides to what the Vice President can do when the President is absent, cannot be the same thing as when he is unable to perform his duties.
Mr Speaker, we will invite the Executive to proceed to consider or probably, any Hon Member of Parliament, should come through a Private Member's Motion to amend the schedule of the Oath, where we have the words, “having been elected” -- Mr Speaker, you saw the Chief Justice, like many other Chief Justices, labour in substituting the words. She brilliantly said “in accordance with article 60 (11) and (12).
Article 60 (11) and (12) makes reference to the schedule of the Constitution on the oath. Mr Speaker, the words there are,
“I, … having been elected to the high office of President.”
The Rt Hon Speaker has not been elected to the high office of President so, we should, as a Parliament, seek to delete or amend these words so that it would read: