The Administrator General of the Presidential Estates Unit (PEU) will not be able to enforce the powers of eviction under the new Presidential (Transition) Bill, 2016. This is because the bill has not been assented to by the President or gazetted for it to become effective. Amendments to the Presidential (Transition) Act 2012 (Act 845) to deal with some lapses were first presented to Parliament for the first reading on March 8, 2016. The bill was referred to the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs by the Speaker of Parliament for consideration. After its deliberations, the House passed the bill on October 26, 2016, but after its passage it has not received Presidential assent for gazetting. Lapses The absence of the Administrator General on the transition team, an absence of enforcement powers of the Administrator General and some duplication of functions in relation to the taking and keeping of an inventory of government assets and properties were some of the lapses that the Administrator General had hoped the amended act would clarify. The Presidential (Transition) Bill, 2016, merely gives the Administrator General the powers of eviction of government officials three months after a new government assumes office and prescribes that the minister of justice should make regulations for the effective implementation of the act. Appeal The Administrator General, Mr David Yaro, has, however, made an appeal for the Presidential (Transition) Bill, 2016, not to be assented to or gazetted. He said on the expiration of a 90-day period, the bill would have expired and would have to be looked at again by the new Parliament. Mr Yaro said he was convinced that such actions would enable the inclusion of all the concerns identified by his office in the old bill to be catered for. Context The Presidential (Transition) Act 2012 (Act 845) was birthed because of the turbulent transition periods of 2001 and 2009. There were accusations and counter accusation of the unlawful acquisition of state assets, including vehicles, real estate and household items. It resulted in some forced evictions from official residences and the seizure of bona fide property. Consequently, the Institute of Economic Affairs in collaboration with political parties under its Ghana Political Parties Programme (GPPP) came up with a draft transition bill in 2007 in an attempt to solve the confusion of previous transitions. That led to the promulgation of the Presidential (Transition) Act 2012 (Act 845) on May 31, 2012.
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