Mr Justice Abdulai, a private legal practitioner and plaintiff in the case that sought for the Supreme Court’s interpretation on the voting rights of Deputy Speakers of Parliament when presiding, has said that he will go for a review on the case.
According to him, the ruling on the interpretation of Articles 102 and 104 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana by the highest court of the country was not definite on the Deputy Speakers casting vote hence, his review.
“This issue about the Deputy Speaker and the substantive Speaker being one, and the same, is something that I thought the Supreme Court should have made a firm pronouncement on it”, he said.
He added that, “The Constitution says that whoever occupies a position (whether in an acting or Deputy) has the same powers and authorities as the substantive one. The Standing Orders reaffirms this same position that the Deputy Speaker is the same or occupies the same position or function as the Speaker”.
On Wednesday, March 9, 2022, the apex court ruled that Deputy Speakers presiding over proceedings in Parliament had the right to vote on matters and to be counted as part of the quorum for decision-making in Parliament.
This sparked a lot of disagreement by the Minority members of Parliament including former President John Dramani Mahama after the decision was made by the court.
According to Mahama, the decision made by the court has affected the independence of the legislative arm of government and may affect deliberations in the House as well.
Mr Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, MP for South Dayi, also reacting to the court’s ruling, said the court’s ruling, allowing Speakers to vote while presiding was an attack on Parliament and its structures”.
MP for Akuapim South, Osei Bonsu Amoah, said; “If Parliament passes any law that contravenes the Constitution, the Supreme Court can always shoot it down.”
This comes after legal practitioner, Justice Abdulai, filed a case against the Attorney-General to contest the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu’s decision to count himself during a vote to approve the 2022 budget.