Former Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, Inusah Fuseini, has said that the action by the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Wusu (Joewise), who sat in for the Speaker during the approval of the 2022 budget and counted himself among the Members of Parliament present was a ‘sin’ against the Constitution of Ghana and the standing orders of Parliament.
The former Deputy Ranking Member for the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs explained that the moment the First Deputy Speaker assumed the role of the Speaker, he was banned from participating in the business of the House because that is what the Constitution and the Standing Orders of the House stipulate.
Joewise who is the Member of Parliament for Bekwai Constituency while sitting in as the Speaker during the overturning the rejection of the budget by the Minority and the approval with their majority on Tuesday counted himself as among the MPs.
They therefore managed to overturn the supposed rejection and approved the budget with 138 members, including him, a situation some people say was a double dual responsibility imposed on himself.
Sharing his thoughts on the development on 3FM’s Sunrise hosted by Alfred Ocansey on Wednesday, , Mr. Fuseini explained that “if the first deputy speaker presides, he cannot be seen as doing business with the minority because he becomes the speaker of Parliament”.
“On what basis did he count himself? Which law, which order, which convention did he relied on to count himself? It is a sin to the constitution and the parliamentary practice. It is a clear violation of parliamentary practice”.
The Lawyer said “if the deputy takes the chair of the speaker, he cannot vote. That’s what the laws and the standing orders and the constitution. He counted himself in and that was not voting”.
“That was for the purposes of establishing whether Parliament had the quorum to conduct business of the house. That was what he did and many people take it as there was voting
Minority walk out
Reacting to the decision by his party (NDC) MPs walking out of the House during the overturning and approval of the budget, Mr. Fuseini “the minority could have drawn his [Speaker] attention to the fact that he cannot vote”.
“They should have been there to challenge the decision. They need to overcome the difficulty of participating in the budget debate because they voted to reject the budget…if you rejected the budget and you were not part of what happened yesterday, how would you approve the expenditure”.
By Kweku Antwi-Otoo|3news.com|Ghana