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You signed e-levy bill into law even when it was still in court, what is so strange about the gay bill? – Prof. Gatsi to Akufo Addo

Dean of the University of Cape Coast Business School, Professor John Gatsi, has voiced criticism against President Akufo-Addo’s decision to postpone assenting to the anti-LGBTQ+ bill until after a Supreme Court ruling on the matter.

Initially, President Akufo-Addo remarked on the passage of the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill by Parliament, highlighting that Ghanaians await the Supreme Court’s decision before any action is taken.

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However, Gatsi has criticised this stance.

But Prof. Gatsi, speaking on TV3’s Ghana Tonight programme on March 4, questioned the basis of the President’s assertion because the bill is yet to become law, adding, “When E-levy [Electronic Transaction Service Levy] was sent to court, the President still went ahead to sign the E-levy bill into law.”.

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“What is so significant or strange about this bill that the bill has not even matured into law and some people are seeking some explanation to be provided by the Supreme Court about this bill?” he quizzed.

According to Prof. Gatsi, the country is not yet at the point of Supreme Court interpretation, stating, “We don’t have a law so to speak, because technically we have not completed the process.”

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He further asserted that all the events unfolding after the bill’s passage aim to prevent it from receiving presidential assent and becoming law.

Gatsi emphasised the significant amount of lobbying activity being conducted to oppose the signing of the anti-LGBTQ+ bill.

“It sounds like there is a heavy dose of lobbying activities going on [in] these last minutes of the process. We knew that the constituents of the world that are not happy with the stand of Ghana on LGBTQ were very clear. All attempts were made to stop the process in parliament that didn’t happen,” he said, adding that the international community, having seen the signs of a unanimous decision to pass the bill in parliament, has occasioned “the upscale of lobbying activities across the board.”.

“And now they are using our own finance ministry to blackmail Ghanaians to support the President not to sign the bill,” Prof. Gatsi added.

Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry has urged President Akufo-Addo not to assent to the anti-LGBTQ+ bill. The Ministry, in a statement, emphasised that Ghana could lose over US$3.8 billion in World Bank financing should the bill be enacted into law.

Some of the areas the Finance Ministry feared World Bank financing could be cut include the US$300 million First Ghana Resilient Recovery Development Policy Operation.

Another US$300 million on-going negotiation for the Second Ghana Resilient Recovery Development Policy Operation, and another US$250 million for the Ghana Financial Stability Fund.

Also, the finance ministry feared the disbursement of US$2.1 billion for ongoing projects and another US$900 million worth of projects would cease when the bill becomes law.

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