Prof Aaron Michael Oquaye, the Speaker on Parliament, was sworn–in late Tuesday evening as Acting President of Ghana, following the absence of both President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his Vice, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia from the country.
Chief Justice Sophia Akufo administered both the Oath of Allegiance and the Presidential Oath on the Floor of Parliament, after which First Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei Owusu, who was in the chair, Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu and his Minority Counterpart Haruna Iddrisu, on behalf of the House congratulated the Speaker on his assumption to the highest national political office.
This is the third time in the Seventh Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana that the Speaker was being sworn to act as President of Ghana.
In his contribution, the Majority Leader expressed concern at the 1992 Constitution of Ghana for the phraseology used in the administration of the Presidential Oath, arguing that the position of the Constitution was that of the President being elected- than otherwise.
The oath was administered close to 2200 hours amidst acclamation by both Sides of the House, with words as “Presido, Presido,” “more reshuffle, and pardon Afoko.”
Members of Parliament present teased the First Deputy Speaker, and called him Acting Vice President, implying he has taken over from the Speaker, who is now Acting President, but Mr Osei-Owusu calmly protested against the unofficial title.
Articles 60(11) and 60 (12) of the 1992 Constitution provides as that : “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; the Speaker shall, before commencing to perform the functions of the President under clause (11) of this article, take and subscribe the oath set out in relation to the office of President.