The South Dayi Member of Parliament (MP), Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, has joined the debate over who comes next after President Nana Akufo-Addo.
He says constitutionally, the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, is only a subservient to the President; hence, cannot be said to be the second most powerful in the country.
“I think he [Speaker Alban Bagbin] is number two because, in the scheme of things, we never voted for the Vice President, so he’s subservient to the President.
“That’s a very serious election. The procedure for doing that [electing the Speaker] is constitutionally determined so that was a public election; that was a national election,” he said in an interview on Prime Morning on Wednesday.
The controversy over the national order of hierarchy received attention when the Speaker of Parliament stated in March 2021 that he holds the number three position in the country.
Mr Bagin at the post-budget workshop held in Ho in the Volta Region over the weekend sparked another argument when he said a Supreme Court judge has revealed to him that he is actually the second in command and not the third.
“My colleagues in the Supreme Court actually told me that ‘you are not Number 3, you are Number 2.’ All those who were present at that meeting were convinced when the Supreme Court judge made the submission and justified it.
“It is not me saying it. I have said I am Number 3 and they said I am not, I am Number 2,” he said amidst laughter from the Members of Parliament who were present at the workshop.
Commenting on this, Mr Dafeamekpor added that the Vice-President “is attached to the President, he can be sacked tomorrow. The President can dismiss him tomorrow.”
Article 60(8) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana stipulates that “whenever the President is absent from Ghana or is for any other reason unable to perform the functions of his office, the Vice President shall perform the functions of the President until the President returns or is able to perform his functions.”
Clause 11 adds that “where the President and the Vice President are both unable to perform the functions of the President, the Speaker of Parliament shall perform those functions until the President or the Vice President is able to perform those functions or a new President assumes office, as the case may be.”
In 2018, during the first term of the NPP administration, the then Speaker of Parliament, Prof Mike Ocquaye was sworn in as an Acting President following the absence of both President Nana Akufo-Addo and Vice President Dr Bawumia.
Currently, there has not been any required condition that gives Speaker Alban Bagbin the powers to act in the stead of both leaders.