‘Stop Sending Anti-Gay Bill To President’

Nana Bediatuo Asante


The Office of the President has asked the Clerk to Parliament to stop and desist from transmitting the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill to the President until the matters before the Supreme Court are resolved.

Secretary to the President, Nana Bediatuo Asante, said the Office has learned that on Thursday, March 14, 2024, while the President and other senior officials were at Peduase for a Cabinet Retreat, the Clerk to Parliament, Cyril Oteng Nsiah, attempted to submit the bill to Jubilee House for the President to signify his assent or otherwise to the bill.

He noted that the President’s Office is aware of two pending applications for an order of interlocutory injunction, both filed on March 7, 2024 in the Supreme Court in Dr. Amanda Odoi vs the Speaker of Parliament, and the Attorney General (January 13, 2023) and Richard Sky vs the Parliament of Ghana and the Attorney General (January 9, 2024), respectively.

In a letter dated March 18, 2024, Mr. Bediatuo Asante explained that the two applications are intended “to restrain you (Clerk) and Parliament from transmitting the Bill to the President and, also, to restrain the President from signifying his assent to the Bill, pending the final determination of the matter.”

“The Attorney General has, by letter dated March 18, 2024, informed the President that he has been duly served with both applications and has advised the President not to take any step in relation to the Bill until the matters raised by the suits are determined by the Supreme Court,” the letter indicated.

The letter stated that the President’s Office understands that both applications have been duly served on Parliament. “Therefore, it would be improper for you to transmit the Bill to the President, and equally improper for this Office to receive the Bill until the Supreme Court determines the matters raised in the suits,” the letter said.

According to the President’s Office, it is established law that, while an interlocutory injunction application is pending, the status quo ante should be maintained, and no action should be taken that would jeopardise the injunctive relief sought or undermine the court’s authority.

“In the circumstances, you are kindly requested to cease and desist from transmitting the Bill to the President until the matters before the Supreme Court are resolved,” the letter stressed.

Democracy Threat

Meanwhile, Haruna Iddrisu, the Member of Parliament for Tamale South, has raised concern over the President’s stance on the Anti-Gay Bill, describing it as a threat to Ghana’s democracy.

Speaking to the media in Parliament, Mr. Iddrisu said that the directive to the Clerk to Parliament reflects President Akufo-Addo’s desire to dominate other branches of government. He wants the public and other stakeholders to band together to prevent the President from exceeding his authority.

“I am unable to sleep because this is a monumental threat to Ghana’s democracy and a monumental threat to Parliament as an institution. By Article 93, we are clothed with legislative authority and legislative mandate.

“This letter only reflects President Akufo-Addo’s quest for predominance over other organs of state and that is unacceptable, and that must be fought by all persons who love democracy and who cherish the principles and values of the 1992 Constitution,” the NDC MP intimated.

“The framers of our Constitution endowed Ghana with a Separation of Powers – the executive, the legislature, the judiciary – and a Division of Powers,” he asserted.

By Ernest Kofi Adu