The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has explained why he has failed to assent to the two bills which have been considered and duly passed by Parliament.
The bills – Criminal Offences Amendment Bill, 2023, the Criminal Offences 2 Bill, 2023 and the Armed Forces Amendment Bill, 2023 – the President thinks are not in line with the provisions of the 1992 constitution.
In a letter to the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, the President said that in as much as he supports the object of the bills, same must pass the constitutional threshold first and foremost.
“The contents of these bills have my support but we need to ensure that they are enacted in line with constitutional order and legislative processes,” the President stated in the letter read on the floor of Parliament in Accra yesterday.
The letter comes on the back of a meeting the President had with the Speaker following the latter’s dissatisfaction with the failure of the President to assent to the bill within the constitutionally accepted days.
The Speaker at plenary on Monday, November 27, directed the table office to strike out the advertised Criminal Offences Amendment Bill from the schedule of the House, because same had been passed and was only awaiting assent from the President.
But the President argued in his letter that “after the thorough consideration and in light of the constitutional issues I pointed out during our meeting, I am unable to assert to these bills.
“The concerns raised are significant and have profound implications for the constitutional integrity for these legislative actions.”
The President held that “any legislation we pass must be in complete alignment with the provisions of our constitution.”
He assured that he would have the bills reintroduced on his behalf in due course.
Acknowledging receipt of the President’s letter, the Speaker said the House would be eager to read the President’s constitutional concerns.
All three bills were sponsored by private members and were passed in 2023.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI
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