Anti-LGBTQ+ bill: Parliament can pass a bill without Presidential assent – Prof Abotsi

The Dean of the Law School at the University for Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), Prof. Ernest Kofi Abotsi, has highlighted the constitutional provision that permits Parliament to pass bills into law without presidential assent.

While acknowledging the rights given to the executive to assent to or refuse a bill as dictated in Article 106 of the constitution, the dean noted that Parliament ultimately holds the highest authority in legislative matters.

Prof Abotsi’s revelation comes amid a row between Parliament and the Presidency over theHuman Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill popularly known as the anti-LGBTQ+ bill which was passed in February.

The Presidency, in a letter on Tuesday, instructed Parliament not to transmit the bill to President Akufo-Addo for his assent.

The decision, according to Nana Bediatuo Asante, stems from the acknowledgment of two pending applications for an order of interlocutory injunction before the Supreme Court.

Highlighting the procedural aspect during JoyNews’ PM Express, Prof. Abotsi explained that in instances where the executive refuses to assent to a bill, a series of exchanges occur between Parliament and the executive.

However, he added that should Parliament persist in its stance and reject proposed changes from the executive on three occasions, it can pass the bill into law without the need for presidential assent.

“The Executive’s participation in lawmaking is rather administrative because it is not that substantive. It can’t defeat the legislative authority of Parliament,” he said on Wednesday.

Nonetheless, the dean stressed the importance of collaboration amongst the arms of government.

“… but it is a collaborative process and the expectation is that they will not over-rule each other but cooperate with each other,” he said.

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