Wednesday, 29 May

Anti-LGBTQ+ bill'll be passed; Akufo-Addo can't intervene – Bagbin

Speaker A.S.K Bagbin

The Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has said the bill on the Promotion of Proper Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values will be passed. 

The Speaker gave the assurance at a breakfast meeting with members of the clergy today, Tuesday, 28 March 2023 in Parliament.

The speaker was reacting to a conversation between the President of Ghana and the visiting US Vice President, Kamara Harris.

Speaker Bagbin said, “the bill will be passed.” 

To President Akufo-Addo, he said, “this is a word to His Excellency the president: there’s no way he can intervene, that answer he gave that it is now before parliament and when it has to get to a stage that he has to come in, he will come, please, this is legislation, this is not execution, wait until we pass it and direct you to execute it, that is when you come in.”

Speaker Bagbin explained, “that is why we are representatives of the people, so, in terms of the law which is part of policy we finalise it, and then the executive now has the authority to implement it.” 

“Let’s get this clear, once this bill is before here [parliament], he’s not in charge, I am in charge,” the Speaker added.

Responding to a question on Ghana’s anti-LGBTQ+ law at a joint press conference with US Vice President Kamala Harris, President Akufo-Addo said the bill, which is currently before parliament has been modified to take into account the protection of human rights and the feelings of the population and at the end of the process, “I will come in”.

The president told journalists: "First of all we don't have any such legislation here in Ghana, a bill has been proposed to the Parliament of Ghana which has all kinds of ramifications which are now being considered by the parliament.

"It hasn't been passed, so the statement that there is legislation in Ghana to that effect is not accurate. No legislation.

"The bill is going through the parliament, it's going through the parliament, the Attorney General has found it necessary to speak to the committee about it regarding the constitutionality or otherwise of several of its provisions and the Parliament is dealing with it but at the end of the process, I will come in.

"I have no doubt that the Parliament of Ghana will sure as it is done in the past, one first of all, its sensitivity to Human Rights issues as well as to the feelings of our population and we'll come out of the responsible response to the to the proposed legislation.

"It's a private member's bill this is not an official legislation of the government but it is one that has been being mooted by a handful of private members, so we will see what the final outcome of it.

But my understanding from a recent discussion I had with the chairman of the committee is substantial elements of the bill have already been modified as a result of the intervention of the Attorney General, we will see what the final outcome will be..."

Source: Mensah