Member of Parliament for Madina Constituency in the Greater Accra Region, Mr Francis-Xavier Sosu, has expressed dismay over President Akufo-Addo's decision to withhold assent to the Criminal Offences Amendment Bill 2023 and the Ghana Armed Forces Amendment Bill 2023.
The Criminal Offences Amendment Bill aims to criminalise attacks on individuals accused of witchcraft, while the Ghana Armed Forces Amendment Bill seeks to remove the death penalty from the laws of the Ghana Armed Forces due to constitutional considerations.
President Akufo-Addo cited constitutional concerns for his decision in a letter to Parliament.
Addressing the media, Mr Sosu, the advocate for these bills, characterised the president's action as a deliberate attempt to thwart laws duly passed by Parliament.
''The President has refused to asent to two very very imporatnt bills which in my opinion has put Ghana on the highest pedestal when it comes to human rights promotion and human rights advancement'' he said.
This move has sparked debates over the implications and the president's constitutional role in the legislative process.
In a letter dated November 28, addressed to the Speaker of Parliament, the president explained that while he supports the contents of these bills, they need to be enacted in line with constitutional and legislative processes.
The bills were introduced to parliament a private member’s bills.
The president emphasised that any legislation passed by the House must be in complete alignment with the Constitution.
He expressed his intention to have these bills reintroduced in parliament on his behalf in due course.
Speaker Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin acknowledged the president's letter, indicating that the president raised concerns about constitutional matters relating to the passage of the Criminal Offences Amendment No. 2 Bill 2023.
The Speaker urged members to exercise restraint and patience, awaiting further communication from the president.
In a separate letter, the president urged the house to reconsider various portions of the Wildlife Resources Management Bill, 2023, to ensure its alignment with constitutional and legislative processes.