Former President John Dramani Mahama has bemoaned the landmark ruling by the Supreme Court that Deputy Speakers of Parliament can vote while presiding in the house.
The Supreme Court in its ruling also said that Deputy Speakers can also count themselves as part of the quorum in determining attendance.
The panel chaired by Justice Jone Dotse said the approval of the budget was valid when deputy Speaker Joe Osei Owusu voted while he was presiding over affairs in the chamber.
Private legal practitioner and law lecturer, Justice Abdulai subsequent to the November 30, 2021 clash between Speaker Bagbin and his First Deputy after the latter overturned an earlier vote of the House rejecting Government’s 2022 Budget invited the Supreme Court to pronounce as unconstitutional, Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu’s action of counting himself for the purposes of quorum.
In a tweet, John Mahama, the 2020 flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) said this was a dangerous precedent.
“A unanimous 7-0? Shocking but not surprising. An unfortunate interpretation for convenience that sets a dangerous precedent of judicial interference in Parliamentary procedure for the future,” Mr Mahama wrote on Twitter.
His comments come after the Minority Leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu also criticized the ruling.
Addressing the media, Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu accused the judiciary of interfering in the work of the legislature which is another independent arm of government.
The Tamale South MP stated the ruling means Deputy Speakers must be stripped of their courtesies since the judgment makes them ordinary MPs contrary to what pertains in the UK and other jurisdictions.
“Our attention has been drawn to a disappointing ruling of the Supreme Court of Ghana [which] is more or less amounts to judicial interference in a time tested parliamentary practice and established conventions.
“The Supreme Court, to put it bluntly, this ruling is judicial support for E-levy nothing more, for a struggling economy in distress. Judicial support for the restoration of a matter that they have said is constitutional is repugnant to Articles 102 and 104 but what can we do. They are cloaked with the mandate to interpret the law,” he observed.
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