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Ghana's anti-LGBTQ+ bill: President Akufo-Addo to wait for Supreme Court ruling

Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo has said he will not assent to an anti-gay bill until the Supreme Court rules on its constitutionality.

Earlier, the finance ministry warned that billions of dollars in World Bank funding could be lost if it became law.

Passed by MPs last week, it imposes a jail term of up to three years for identifying as LGBTQ+ and five years for promoting their activities.

Human rights groups went to court even before it was passed by parliament.

The proposed tough new legislation - The Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values bill - was backed by both of Ghana's main political parties but cannot become law without the president's approval.

The bill has been widely condemned by the UK and the US - and rights groups have described it as regressive.

President Akufo-Addo had previously said that he would sign it if the majority of Ghanaians wanted him to do so.

But he is now seeking to assure the diplomatic community that Ghana is committed to upholding human rights.

He acknowledged that the bill had "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."

On Monday, the country's finance ministry said Ghana could lose a total of $3.8bn (£3bn) in World Bank funding over the next five to six years.

Ghana is suffering a major economic crisis and last year had a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

It is unlikely that the Supreme Court will rule on the case before presidential and parliamentary elections due in December.

The elections will see Ghanaians vote for a new president, as Mr Akufo-Addo will be stepping down at the end of his two terms.

Credit: BBC



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