Mr Speaker, while recognising and congratulating you in assuming the dual responsibility as Speaker and President, let me just note
that yesterday, you sought to trivialise this important constitutional exercise here -- [Interruption.] Let me land; if I have to withdraw and apologise, I will. [Interruptions.] Mr Speaker, I withdraw “trivialise” for “downplay”.
Mr Speaker, yesterday, you sought to downplay, with sincere apologies, the significance of the ceremony of you assuming responsibility as conferred on you by the Constitution. I know that the Hon Atta Akyea sought to remind us that at no point in our constitutional democracy, should we allow power vacuum to operate in this country.
That is why I sought to use the word “downplay”. That we should not and indeed, following America's constitu- tional history, the power to declare war was what informed America's position not to allow for a second or a minute or an hour to pass with a vacuum in the running of the State machinery of the United States of America, to which we have borrowed many of our democratic ethos and values today.
So, I thought that for emphasis, we should congratulate you but we should also support you that whenever you have to assume this responsibility even for a minute, Mr Speaker, do not hesitate to do so, not just as respect to the Constitution and the Oath that you have subscribed to, but as a people, we recognise.
Mr Speaker, my final comment -- [Interruption.] I am not igniting debate; my final comment is to the Hon Minority Leader and also for tomorrow, that at all times, we must make a distinction between the President's absence from Ghana and the President's removal from office and the President being unable to perform the functions of the President. That will therefore guide a better decision tomorrow
Your reference to article 60 (10) was what worried me.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.