The Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, has absolved President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of blame in relation to the delay in the presentation of the State of the Nation Address.
According to him, the leadership of Parliament is yet to give the president the green light for the presentation.
The President was expected to deliver the State of the Nation Address on March 3, 2022, but it has since been postponed indefinitely.
Answering questions in Parliament on Friday, March 18, 2022, over the delay in the presentation, Afenyo-Markin suggested that the absence of the Speaker from the jurisdiction could be attributed to the delay in the delivery of the message.
“Our duty as a House is to program Mr. President to come. It’s not Mr. President who is refusing to come. Mr. President is ready, it is for our leadership and Mr. Speaker to program him. Mr. Speaker is unavoidably absent, so, the leadership of the House and the Speaker should program the President to come and give the message on the state of the nation,” he said.
Article 67 of the Constitution mandates the President to present the address to Parliament at the beginning of each session of the lawmaking body and before the dissolution of the house.
The address sets out the government’s key policy objectives and deliverables for the year ahead. It will give President Akufo-Addo the opportunity to highlight the achievements of his government, challenges faced, and also outline developmental measures for the coming financial year.
The Minority in Parliament has in the last few weeks been mounting pressure on the leadership of Parliament to ensure that the president attends to the house to deliver his address.
The Member of Parliament for Juaboso, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, last week insisted that the president had “no good news” for Ghanaians, hence the delay in making the presentation.
“We don’t even know when he is coming to address the House. Except that he has no good news to tell the nation because if he has good news to tell Ghanaians he would have been in a hurry to deliver the address.”