Rt Hon Alban Bagbin, Speaker of the Ghana’s Parliament, has rebuked President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for not accepting the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill 2024 (Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill).

According to him, the scenario presented by the Presidency to refuse to accept the Bill poses a grave threat to the legislative authority and the democratic principles the country is striving to uphold.

The Speaker responded to a letter from the President’s Secretary, Nana Bediatuo Asante, dated Monday, March 18, 2024, which urged Parliament’s Clerk to halt any further attempts to present the Bill for presidential assent.

The letter referenced ongoing Supreme Court actions seeking injunctions against the Bill, specifically citing cases “Dr. Amanda Odoi v. The Speaker of Parliament and the Attorney-General” and “Richard Sky v. The Parliament of Ghana and The Attorney-General,” filed on March 7, 2024.

“The Office’s attention was drawn to attempts to submit the Bill to Jubilee House during a Cabinet Retreat at Peduase on March 14, 2024. Given the legal proceedings, we advise against the Bill’s transmission until the Supreme Court’s final determination,” Nana Bediatuo’s letter stated.

Speaker Alban Bagbin expressed his concerns over the President’s reluctance to even consider the Bill, stating, “This refusal didn’t happen in isolation but followed multiple attempts to transmit the Bill, undermining the checks and balances our forbearers established for a functioning democracy.”

He further lamented the lack of formal communication from the Presidency on this refusal, underscoring the constitutional requirement for the President to act within the legal framework upon receiving a bill passed by Parliament.

“The refusal to even accept the bill for consideration falls outside our constitutional framework. The President is obliged to accept the bill and decide within the constitutional limits, whether that be assent, refusal, or referral for advice.”

The Speaker also mentioned receiving a court injunction motion that temporarily halts the vetting and approval of presidential nominations and emphasized the importance of adhering to the rule of law as expected by the presidency.

“In light of this legal process, we cannot proceed with considering the President’s nominations until the Supreme Court decides on the injunction,” he concluded and adjourned the House Sine Die.

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