General News

Asante Bediatuo has no power to write to Parliament -Mahama

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama, has criticized a letter from the President’s secretary to Parliament asking the legislative House not to transmit the Anti-Bill to him to sign into law.

“…but everyone who is a lawyer will tell you that the President’s secretary has no authority to write such a letter because Parliament is obligated by the constitution to send every Bill to the President. So you cannot tell Parliament not to do its job,” the former President said.

Mr. Mahama who argued that a directive to Parliament contradicts the 1992 Constitution was speaking at a Town Hall meeting at Banda, as part of his tour of the Oti Region.

He stated that, “…this morning I woke up to see a letter from the Secretary to the President to Parliament warning them against transmitting the letter to the Presidency”.

The former President claimed that the letter was disrespectful and seemed to suggest that the President’s secretary had power over parliament. “If you look at how he wrote the letter, it was disrespectful, he wrote it as if he has some powers than parliament and this questions the country’s democracy”, he complained.

Minority’s response

The former minority leader and Tamale South Member of Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu has also expressed his dissatisfaction with the letter saying the office of the President is hindering Parliament’s work.

As a result, he has called for the letter signed by the Secretary to the President, Nana Asante Bediatuo, to be disregarded for failing to follow Parliament’s Standing Orders.

“Politically, what power does the President’s secretary have writing to the Clerk of Parliament and not the President himself, writing directly to the Speaker as is required of our Standing Orders, so that officially it can be read as communication from the President?” Mr Iddrisu asked.

“So ideally this paper means nothing and should be ignored by the Clerk because the President must sign communication to Parliament addressed to the Speaker,” he noted.

Mr. Iddrisu who said this while addressing the house yesterday stressed that the letter, which seeks to prevent Parliament from performing its duties, reflects President Akufo-Addo’s “quest for predominance” over other organs of state including the legislature.

“That is unacceptable and must be fought by all persons who love democracy and cherish the principles and values of the 1992 Constitution. This is a monumental threat to Ghana’s democracy and a monumental threat to Parliament as an institution. By Article 93 we are clothed with legislative authority and mandate,” he emphasized.

The Anti-LGBTQ Bill         

Last month, Parliament passed the Anti-LGBTQ Bill. The bill aims to uphold proper human sexual rights and Ghanaian family values, while prohibiting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ+), and related activities.

The bill in its current form proposes a jail term ranging from six months to three years for those found engaged in same-sex activities, with a more severe punishment of three to five years for promoters and activists of LGBTQ rights.

Following this, it has stirred controversy on whether it should be passed into law or not. While Religious bodies have called on the president to assent to the bill, some Civil society organization (CSO) and International bodies have condemned the bill saying it infringes upon the Human Rights Law.

READ MORE:  Swallow Your Pride and Apologize- Dr. Sarpong Advises Simon Osei Mensah

Source: thechronicle

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