Ghana swears in first woman president

Speaker of Parliament Justice Mrs Joyce Bamford Addo Friday made history as the first female to act as President of Ghana.

The former Supreme Court Judge was sworn into the highest office of the land Friday afternoon.

President Mills is in Japan on a duty tour whilst Vice-President John Mahama is in Nigeria participating in the 50th independence anniversary celebrations of the regional big brother.

Acting President Joyce Bamford Addo took the Oath of Office, administered by the Chief Justice Georgina Woode, at an emergency sitting of Parliament this Friday afternoon.

The Constitution stipulates that in the absence of the President and his Vice, the Speaker of Parliament be licensed to act as the president.

The emergency sitting which lasted half an hour, attracted a number of top government officials including the Attorney General and her Deputy as well as Deputy Chief of Staff Alex Segbefia.

Before her swearing in, the acting President addressed the House and informed them of a letter dated 13th September 2010 she received from President Mills about his visit to Japan.

The letter, she said, stated that the Vice-President John Dramani Mahama would act in his stead.

Mrs Bamford Addo, again, informed the House that she received another letter from the Vice-President notifying her of his travel to Nigeria. The Vice-President is expected to return home on Friday, 1st October 2010. President Mills returns home on Sunday, October 3.

The Speaker and Acting President observed that her new role shows the importance of Parliament.

“Honourable Members, as you know, the Constitution of the Republic, Article 60 (11) says that in the absence of the President and the Vice-President, the Speaker of Parliament will act.

“It shows the importance of Parliament. Not really the Speaker but the Parliament… and so Honourable Members even if it is an hour, a minute, a day, Parliament has been recognised.”

After taking the Oath of Office, the Acting President left the Chamber to allow First Deputy Speaker Edward Doe Adjaho to preside over proceedings.

He touted the credentials of the Acting Speaker: “First Director of Public Prosecution, the first female Deputy Speaker of the Consultative Assembly, first female to rise to the Supreme Court, first woman Speaker and today first female Acting President.”

The Minority led by Chief Whip, Fred Opare Ansah and Majority Leader Cletus Avoka congratulated her on behalf of the House.

Story by Joy News/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana