Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Prof. Mike Ocquaye
Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon Prof. Mike Ocquaye is expected to be sworn in as President following an expected absence of President Nana Akufo-Addo and the current absence of the Vice-President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.
President Nana Akufo-Addo is expected to leave the country for Liberia Sunday while the Vice-President is already in the UK undergoing further medical treatment.
Parliament has been recalled to fill the political vacuum with the Speaker of Parliament who is the third in the line of four most powerful political leaders constitutionally mandated to act in the absence of the first two.
A statement signed by the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Joseph Osei-Owusu set the date of the expected swearing-in at Sunday 2:30pm.
The practice of swearing in acting Presidents has been challenged in court as unnecessary.
Prof. Kwaku Asare in Asare v Attorney-General (2003), he argued that President’s absence from the country does not render him unable to perform his duty.
Official travels out of the jurisdiction, he said, ought to be considered as part of the performance of the President’s duties.
Prof. Kwaku Asare asked for a declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 60(11) of the Constitution which states
(11) 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.
Prof. Asare had gone to court after then Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Peter Ala Adjetey had been sworn in as President on 24th February 2003.
In its ruling, the Supreme Court reasoned that the purpose of the framers of the constitution was to ensure that whoever exercises the functions of the President is physically present in Ghana.
It said this is important to ensure the efficacy with which executive power may be exercised in Ghana from abroad.
The court held that the swearing-in of the Speaker of Parliament in the absence of the President and Vice President is not inconsistent with the constitution.