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    Bagbin Encourages Applicant To Go For A Review On Voting Rights Of Deputy Speakers

    The Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban S.K. Bagbin has encouraged the applicant on the voting rights case at the Supreme Court to go for a review following the 7-0 unanimous ruling last Wednesday by the Supreme Court that Deputy Speakers can vote.

    In a statement, Mr Bagbin said the Supreme Court decision, “is, to say the least, not only an absurdity but a reckless incursion into the remit of Parliament.”

    He stated: “the trend of unanimity is equally troubling. It doesn’t help explore and expand our legal jurisprudence.”

    “The President’s [Akufo-Addo] comment is myopic and unfortunate. It only goes to worsen the schism between the Executive and Parliament,” he added.

    Related: ‘Parliament is not beyond the scrutiny of Supreme Court’ – Akufo-Addo [AUDIO]

    The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that a Deputy Speaker presiding over proceedings in Parliament has the right to vote on matters and also be counted as part of the quorum for decision making in Parliament.

    In a unanimous decision, 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 Parliament, reports Graphic Online’s Emmanuel Ebo Hawkson who was in the courtroom.

    In view of the decision, the apex court held that the passing of the budget on November 30, 2021, in which Mr Joe Osei Owusu, the First Deputy Speaker counted himself as part of the quorum, was valid.

    Also, the court has struck down order 109(3) of the standing orders of Parliament which prevented a deputy speaker presiding from voting, as unconstitutional.

    The court gave the decision Wednesday after it dismissed a writ by a law lecturer, Justice Abdulai, who was challenging the decision of Mr Owusu to be counted as part of the quorum to pass the budget.

    The unanimous decision was given by Justices Jones Dotse, Nene Amegather, Prof Ashie Kotey, Mariama Owusu, Lovelace Johnson, Clemence Honyenuga and Yonny Kulendi.

    Below is a copy of the statement

    Message from Alban S.K. Bagbin

    Good morning comrades. I have resisted the temptation of making a comment on the judgment of the Supreme Court on the issue of the voting rights of Deputy Speakers when presiding. But the unfortunate and myopic comment of the President has compelled me to let it out.

    The SC decision, is to say the least, not only an absurdity but a reckless incursion into the remit of Parliament.

    The trend of unanimity is equally troubling. It doesn’t help explore and expand our legal jurisprudence.

    The President’s comment is myopic and unfortunate. It only goes to worsen the schism between the Executive and Parliament.

    The impartiality of the Speaker, Deputy Speaker or Presiding Officer has been tresusured and fought for by this country throughout our democratic development.

    Mr. President, the issue being discussed is not about Parliament being above the law. Everyone knows that Parliament is not above the law. The Executive and the Judiciary are equally not above the law. The issue being discussed is the political question doctrine. It took centuries to detail out the strands of this doctrine and the principles are settled as to when and how this closed book could be opened.

    Please, I encourage the Plaintiff to go for a review.

    By Rt. Hon. Alban S.K. Bagbin.
    Speaker of Parliament
    Republic of Ghana.

     

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