“For now, there is a complete vacuum and it tells the disorganization in this gov’t. I’ve never seen this before…Under the NDC regime weird things happen. We pray to God that nothing untoward happens. It is a grievous breach and the persons responsible would’ve to be called to answer. It shouldn’t have happened in the first place,” says the Minority Leader of Parliament, Hon Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu.
These were the remarks passed by the Minority Leader in reaction to the news that the country is currently possibly without a head of state following President John Dramani Mahama’s trip to Nigeria, Vice President Amissah Arthur’s trip to the United States of America (USA) and Speaker of Parliament Doe Adjaho’s trip to Korea.
According to Article 60 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, if the President is not around, the Vice President should take over and if the Vice President is not around, the Speaker of Parliament should take over. The constitution did not however specify who should take over when these three heads are not around.
“Where the President and the Vice-President are both unable to perform the functions of the President, the Speaker of Parliament shall perform those functions until the President or the Vice President is able to perform, those functions or a new President assumes office as the case may be,” states Article 60:11 of the constitution.
One may say that the Chief Justice (CJ) must take over, but according to Hon Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, the Chief Justice, Georgina Theodora Wood cannot swear herself into office as the President.
He said in an interview on Citi FM, Thursday that “if the three of them are absent, there cannot be any acting person; according to the constitution. The constitution is very clear. It doesn’t provide for anybody else to act when the three are away. The constitution does not hand it over to the CJ…I believe it is because the CJ cannot swear herself in.”
He indicated that there is a statute that indicates that in cases of war, the Chief of Defence Staff assumes control but as it stands now, there is no war; meaning that there is a power vacuum.
“For now, there is a complete vacuum and it tells the disorganization in this government. I have never seen this before. Under the NDC regime weird things happen. We pray to God that nothing untoward happens. It is a grievous breach and the persons responsible would have to be called to answer. It shouldn’t have happened in the first place,” the Minority leader added.
Currently nobody has been sworn in by the Chief Justice as acting president. The question then is; who is running the affairs of the country?