The Minority in Parliament has kicked against the Supreme Court’s ruling that a Deputy Speaker presiding over proceedings has the right to vote on matters and also be counted as part of the quorum for decision making.
According to the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, the ruling was judicial support for the controversial Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy).
“Our attention has been drawn to a very disappointing ruling of the Supreme Court of Ghana which more or less will amount to judicial interference in time tested Parliamentary practice and established convention,” he said at a media briefing in Parliament.
In a unanimous decision on Wednesday, a seven-member panel of the apex court held that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 103 and 104 of the 1992 Constitution, a Deputy Speaker, who happens to be a Member of Parliament does not lose his right to take part in decision making.
In view of the decision, the passing of the budget on November 30, 2021, in which the First Deputy Speaker, Mr Joe Osei Owusu, counted himself as part of the quorum, was valid.
The court, presided over by Justice Jones Dotse, also struck down order 109(3) of the standing orders of Parliament which prevented a Deputy Speaker presiding from voting, saying it is unconstitutional.
But Mr Iddrisu said he wasn’t happy the judiciary was meddling in the Parliamentary issues putting aside the standing orders.
“Everywhere in the world in civilised democracies including the United Kingdom the presiding officer’s vote is discounted.
“So it is not for nothing that article 102 provides that a person presiding shall have no original nor casting vote. The Supreme Court, to put it aptly, this ruling is judicial support for E-levy,” he fumed.
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