The Presidential (Transition) (Amendment) Bill, 2016 has been duly read a Second Time on the floor of Ghana’s Parliament.
The Bill seeks to amend the Presidential (Transition) Act, 2012 (Act 845) to deal with the lapses identified in the Act.
The Bill incorporates provisions that will ensure an effective and smooth transition in the country.
The Presidential (Transition) Act, 2012 (Act 845) was enacted as a legal blue print to guide Presidential transitions in the country and forestall confrontations that may be associated with transitions.
However, it has been noted that there are lapses in the Law which need to be addressed in order to have smooth transitions.
It is expected that the passage of the Bill would allow for effective implementation of the Law as a way of removing the lapses experienced in the implementation of the aforementioned Act.
Until the enactment of the Presidential (Transition) Act, 2012 (Act 845), there was no legal blue print that governed the transition of political power in the country.
Before the enactment of the Law, transitions in the country had been characterised by administrative lapses, forced evictions and seizure of vehicles which left in their wake, acrimony, tension, ill-feeling and interparty hostility.
The Presidential (Transition) Act, 2012 (Act 845) was enacted to establish arrangements for the political transfer of administration from an out-going democratically elected President and to provide for related matters.
The Law made provision for accountability, institutional clarity and structured time for managing the transition process to avert the challenges experienced in previous transitions.
However, when Act 845 was first implemented, some challenges were experienced.
Arguments were advanced to the effect that, even though Act 845 makes provision in Section One (1) for the transfer of power to an incumbent President re-elected for a second term, it appears vague in some respects.
In the case where an incumbent is re-elected, Act 845 simply states that the President shall designate members of the Transition Team. A limit was not set on the size of the Transition Team.
Furthermore, Act 845 did not make provisions for the tenure of Office of the Transition Team.
Sections 11 and 12 of Act 845 which deal with the issue of swearing-in of Members of Parliament and the election of the Speaker two days before the inauguration of the President, posed a challenge as to whether the inauguration of Parliament two days before dissolution, was not in conflict with Article 113 of the 1992 Constitution.
Also, Act 845 provided for the appointment of an Administrator-General to be responsible for the management of the Executive estate, assets as well as the transition process.
However, it does not empower the Office of the Administrator-General to deal with possible breaches, hence the introduction of the Bill to elaborate on some of the provisions of the Act.
The Chairman of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Magnus Amoatey presented the Committee’s Report on the floor of the House.
The Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong moved the motion for the Bill to be read a Second Time.