The Minority in parliament has expressed disappointment in the ruling of the Supreme Court on the matter as to whether a person presiding as speaker consistent with article 102 of the 1992 constitution which provides for the quorum and 104 can exercise a vote whiles presiding.
Leader of the side Haruna Iddrisu addressing a press conference on the matter described the ruling as a support by the judiciary to ensure that the controversial E-Levy is passed.
Alhaji Haruna Iddrisu called the ruling, judicial support for E-Levy for a struggling economy in distress.
He stated that, this is a travesty of parliamentary justice and its stabbed in the growth and development of multi party constitutional democracy built on the spirit and principles of checks and balances
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 today 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.
The court did not give its reasons for the decision but said the reasons would be filed by Friday at the Court’s registry [March 11, 2022].
This ruling by the Supreme Court, to put it aptly, is judicial support for Electronic Transfer Bill (E-levy), nothing more, for a struggling economy in distress and a judicial support for the restoration of a matter they have said that it is constitutional.
“It is repugnant to the provisions of article 102 and 104 but they are clothed with the authority and mandate to interpret the law and this is a travesty of parliamentary justice and is a stab in the growth and development of multi-party constitutional democracy built on the spirit and principle of checks and balances
Mr Iddrisu said in civilized democracy everywhere in the world including the United Kingdom (UK), the presiding officer’s vote was discounted.
He thus said it was not for nothing that Article 102 provided a person presiding shall have no original nor casting vote.
He described as intriguing to hear that while the nation awaited the full reasoning of the Supreme Court, one of the justices of the apex court said “the quorum in Article 102 is not the same as Article 104.”
“That is the ruling but we know that for quorum, Article 102 is authoritative on the composition of quorum for Parliament for the purpose of conducting business.”
“We cannot see any material difference in the provisions of Article 104 but for their purposes they have said that interpret Article 102 differently and separately from Article 104.”
In his view, the judiciary was also failing Ghana’s Parliamentary democracy in their inability to appreciate the true meaning of Article 110 of the 1992 Constitution that Parliament shall, by Standing Orders, regulate its own proceedings.
“We regulate our own proceedings and today reference is made to the 1992 Constitution and not to the Standing Orders of Parliament of Ghana in particular Standing Order 13.”