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Parliament suspends ministerial nominations
amidst Presidential dispute over Human Rights Bill

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The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has taken the decisive step of suspending the consideration of nominees for Ministers and Deputy Ministers of State, as proposed by President Akufo-Addo. This action comes in response to the President’s reluctance to endorse the bill concerning Human Sexual Rights and Family Values.

Bagbin’s decision arises from an interlocutory injunction filed at the Supreme Court by MP for South Dayi, Rockson-Nelson Etse K. Dafeamekpor. This injunction has effectively paralyzed Parliament’s ability to approve new ministerial appointments nominated by President Akufo-Addo.

This move by Bagbin comes in defiance of a directive from the presidency, which issued a cease and desist order to Parliament, preventing them from forwarding the Bill on Human Sexual Rights and Family Values for President Akufo-Addo’s approval. The presidency justified its directive by pointing to an ongoing interlocutory application at the Supreme Court.

In an official statement, Bagbin reaffirmed Parliament’s inability to proceed with the confirmation of new ministers under such circumstances. He highlighted the serious threat this situation poses to legislative authority and democratic principles.

“The current situation poses a significant threat to our legislative authority and undermines the democratic principles we are committed to upholding. The implications of such executive actions reach beyond the immediate legislative matters at hand, eroding the foundational checks and balances established by our predecessors to safeguard a robust and functional democracy.”

Bagbin emphasized Parliament’s commitment to adhering to the existing legal framework and rejecting attempts by the Executive Secretary of the President to exert undue influence. He reiterated Parliament’s resolve not to yield to pressure.

“Nevertheless, esteemed Members, I must draw your attention to legal proceedings initiated by Rockson-Nelson Etse K. Dafeamekpor against the Speaker of Parliament and the Attorney-General (Suit no. J1/12/2024). A motion for injunction served on March 19, 2024, seeks to restrain the Speaker from proceeding with the vetting and approval of the President’s nominees until constitutional provisions are satisfied.

“In light of this development, the House is unable to proceed with the consideration of the President’s nominations ‘in the spirit of upholding the rule of law’ until the Supreme Court determines the application for interlocutory injunction.”

By Eugene Davis

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