The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, 9 January 2022, struck out an aspect of the Standing Orders of Parliament, which determines whether Deputy Speakers of Parliament, have the right to form a quorum, and participate in decision making, or take part in the voting process in parliament, whiles presiding as Speakers.
The court in its ruling; has struck out Parliament's Standing Order 109(3), which states that, a Deputy Speaker or any other member presiding as the Speaker of Parliament, shall not retain his original vote while presiding.
The court, which was presided over by Justice Jones Dotse, dismissed an application to pronounce as unconstitutional, Joseph Osei Owusu’s action of counting himself for the purposes of forming a quorum in parliament, whiles presiding over proceedings.
A Ghanaian Private legal practitioner and law lecturer, Justice Abdulai petitioned the Supreme Court; asking it to declare the action of the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Honorable Joseph Osei Owusu (counting himself, and taking part in a voting process whiles presiding), as unconstitutional.
He also asked the court to interpret Articles 104 and 102 of the 1992 of Ghana's 1992 Constitution, and declare the proceedings in parliamentary on 30 November 2021; (leading to the approval of the 2022 budget), as unconstitutional.
Mr. Justice Abdulai insisted that, the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament (Honorable Joseph Osei Owusu) erred, by counting himself as an MP, whiles presiding as a Speaker.
The Apex Court, made up of 7-member panel of justices however ruled that, the Member of Parliament for Bekwai Constituency, exercised his right constitutionally; and that, a Deputy Speaker of Parliament, or any member presiding, has the right to vote.
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