Former President John Mahama has slammed the Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling allowing Deputy Speakers of Parliament to vote while also serving as Speakers.
He described it as “shocked but not surprising” in a tweet.
Mr. Mahama described it as “an regrettable convenience interpretation” that “sets a hazardous precedent of court meddling in Parliamentary procedure in the future.”
The groundbreaking ruling came in a lawsuit made by Justice Abdulai, a law professor, who was challenging the Deputy Speaker’s decision to include himself as forming a quorum for a budget vote.
The decision backed up the viewpoint of Joseph Osei Owusu, the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, who justified his critical vote in the budget approval for 2022.
Order 109 (3) of the Standing Orders of Parliament was likewise declared illegal by the Court.
Mr. Osei-Owusu, who is also a Bekwai MP, presided over the overturning of a previous House vote rejecting the government’s 2022 Budget on November 30, last year.
The ruling in the case, according to Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu, is a farce of justice and an indication that the judiciary has failed the country’s parliamentary system.
“The Ghanaian judiciary is failing parliamentary democracy by failing to understand the fundamental meaning of Article 110 of the Constitution, which states that Parliament shall govern its own proceedings through its standing rules.”
Mr. Iddrisu further stated that the decision shows that the administration has judicial support to pass the e-levy.
The First Deputy Speaker, on the other hand, praised the decision, calling it “refreshing.”
Mr. Owusu also stated that he will continue to interpret the constitution and Parliament’s standing orders as he sees fit.
“Due to the size of our legislature, issues that have never been raised before are suddenly coming to the fore.” As I already stated, wherever there is a disagreement, I shall interpret the rules and laws as I understand them.”
Godfred Dame, the Attorney General, likewise stated that logic had won out in this case.
“I believe the Supreme Court’s reasoning is sound and consistent with practice in other jurisdictions throughout the world,” he said.
There is no statement in the constitution that says this.