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Anti-LGBTQI+ Bill: Ghana Will Not Slip From Her Enviable Human Rights Record – Akufo-Addo Assures Diplomats4 min read

Anti-LGBTQI+ Bill: Ghana Will Not Slip From Her Enviable Human Rights Record – Akufo-Addo Assures Diplomats<span class="wtr-time-wrap after-title"><span class="wtr-time-number">4</span> min read</span>


President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has assured the diplomatic community in Ghana that despite the passage of the “Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill” (Anti-LGBTQI+ Bill) by the nation’s Parliament on Wednesday, 28 February 2024, the country will not slip from her enviable and longstanding record as a country that respects the fundamental human rights of all persons within her territory.

Addressing the diplomatic corps in Ghana at the annual “New Year Greeting” held at the Peduase Presidential Lodge, Aburi Hills on Monday, 4 March 2024, President Akufo-Addo said he is aware of the difficulties some of the country’s international partners have with the Bill as has been passed by Parliament.

However, he indicated a concerned citizen has invoked the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the Bill and to that end, he calls on everyone to hold their guns until the apex of the land (Supreme Court) pronounces its judgment on the constitutionality or otherwise of the Bill.

“I am aware that last week’s bi-partisan passage by the Parliament of the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, on a Private Member’s motion, has raised considerable anxieties in certain quarters of the diplomatic community and amongst some friends of Ghana that she may be turning her back on her, hitherto, enviable, longstanding record on human rights observance and attachment to the rule of law.

“I want to assure you that no such back-sliding will be contemplated or occasioned. I think it will serve little purpose to go, at this stage, into the details of the origin of this proposed law, which is yet to reach my desk. But, suffice it to say, that I have learned that, today, a challenge has been mounted at the Supreme Court by a concerned citizen to the constitutionality of the proposed legislation,” President Akufo-Addo said.

“In the circumstances, it would be, as well, for all of us to hold our hands, and await the decision of the Court before any action is taken. The operation of the institutions of the Ghanaian state will determine the future trajectory of the rule of law and human rights compliance in our country,” President Akufo-Addo further stated in his remarks to members of the diplomatic community.

 Commonwealth S-G Race

In his address, President Akufo-Addo called on all member-states of the Commonwealth who form part of the diplomatic community in Ghana, to offer their support to the bid of Ghana’s Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, to become the next elected Secretary-General of the Commonwealth at the organization’s October 2024 summit in Samoa.

“As you may know, my very able hardworking minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, is in the race for the position of the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth on the completion of the mandate in October of the current Secretary-General Baroness Patricia Scotland KC.

“I believe you share our view that she is eminently qualified for the position. The Commonwealth is an organization formed to champion the values of democracy, good governance and equitable and inclusive development among Commonwealth member states, values she will strongly promote,” Akufo-Addo remarked.

“We will count on the gracious support of all of the esteemed member-states of the Commonwealth for her election in October at the impeding CHOGM summit in Samoa, which is intended to revitalize the organization and strengthen multilateralism and strategic alliances at the global level,” President Akufo-Addo further remarked.

 Election 2024

 On the forthcoming 7 December 2024 presidential and parliamentary elections in Ghana, President Akufo-Addo reiterated the commitment of his administration to support the Electoral Commission (EC) to carry out its constitutional duty of conducting a free, fair, and transparent election in the country.

He added that his government is clear in its mind about the duty it has to ensure that the 2024 general elections are executed peacefully for the people of Ghana to elect their preferred President and parliamentarians. This duty, the President said, will be carried out to perfection.

“On 7 December, the Ghanaian people will elect a new President and a new Parliament. The term of the present Parliament expires at the end of the year and I am in the last year of permissible eight years that a citizen can exercise the functions of President.

“The Akufo-Addo-led government is clear about its obligation and duty to ensure that the impending elections are conducted in an atmosphere of peace and security, full transparency, and respect for the electoral laws of our country, Akufo-Addo noted.

“I am confident that the security agencies will be alive to their responsibilities and will ensure that the free will of the Ghanaian people and their choice of national leadership will be manifest. We cherish our reputation as the beacon of democracy on the African continent and the forthcoming election will reinforce this reputation,” the President added.