Parliament is amending the Presidential Transition Act, 2012 (Act 845) to address some constitutional lapses identified in the law.
The Presidential Transition (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which has been drafted to replace Act 845, seeks to, among other things, correct Section 11 and 12 of the Act which are in conflict with Article 113 of the constitution.
Section 11 and 12 of Act 845 state that Parliament should be constituted two days before the president is inaugurated.
However, the Act contravenes Article 113 of the constitution which states that Parliament shall continue for four years from the date of its first sitting and then stand dissolved.
The Presidential Transition (Amendment) Bill, 2016 has proposed that instead of constituting Parliament two days before the inauguration of the President, the swearing-in of the MPs and the inauguration of the Speaker should be held within twelve hours before the inauguration of the President.
The bill went through the Second Reading in Parliament yesterday.
The Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, in its report on the bill, observed that bridging the time between the inauguration of Parliament and the President from two days to twelve hours was more reasonable and urged the House to support the amendment.
The committee also noted that the minister responsible for Justice would be given the power under Clause 8 of the Bill to make regulations for the effective implementation of the Act.
The regulation, it said, were to prescribe the form of handing over notes for effective implementation of the Act.
The committee further observed that the bill, in clause 1, amended Section 1 of Act 845 by providing for the constitution of a transition team within 24 hours after the declaration of the results of the presidential election in accordance with Article 63 of the constitution.
“The clause also makes provision for the membership of the transition team in a situation where the incumbent is elected as president as well as in a situation where a new person is elected as president,” it said.
The committee noted that the bill, in clause 3, introduced a new section 3A to provide for the tenure of office of members of the transition team and indicated that the tenure was limited to within six weeks after the election of the president in accordance with Article 63 of the constitution.
Clause 6 of the bill, according to the committee, amends section 10 of the Act on the vacation of official residence by providing the minimum and maximum period within which a person occupying official residence is to vacate the residence.
“The clause further empowers the administrator-general to evict a person in occupation of an official residence in a situation where the person ceases to hold office on the assumption of office of a newly elected President and that person refuses to vacate the residence within three months after ceasing to hold office,” it said.
When approved, the Presidential Transition Bill 2016 will become the legal blueprint to guide presidential transitions in the country and forestall confrontations that may be associated with transitions.
By Yaw Kyei