Let’s reconsider constitutional provision on election of Deputy Speakers – Gyampo

Professor at the University of Ghana Ransford Yaw Gyampo has called for a rethink of the provision of the 1992 Constitution on the elections of the two deputy speakers of Parliament from among members.

He said per the latest ruling of the Supreme Court, which endorsed the voting rights of Deputy Speakers even when they presided over proceedings, the country should consider electing Deputy Speakers outside the House like in the case of Speakers.

“A key question that must engage our mind is, what happens to debate if those expected to moderate it takes to one side via partisan voting?

“This question must be answered taking cognizance of the fact that deputy speakers must not necessarily lose their right to represent their constituents simply by moderating debates.

Perhaps we may want to rethink our constitution by looking for deputy speakers who do not represent constituencies just like the Speaker,” he wrote on Thursday, March 10.

Find the full write-up below:

  1. The Supreme Court ruling on the right of Deputy Speakers to vote while serving as speakers, must be interrogated dispassionately. Unfortunately, the partisan responses have not helped as they insinuate many things that do not help the quest to shore up the independence of the judiciary. Why should it be that every top NPP person likes the ruling while every top NDC hates it? Why can’t we have a middle way of objective thinking about the issue? Excessive partisan is indeed a serious affront to our God-given ability to think and analyze issues, with a view to promoting fairness and objectivity in our political discourse.
  2. The ruling may elate those seeking for the numbers to pass the E-Levy. But it will also help those opposed to it if they win power and hung parliament comes back again tomorrow.
  3. It must be noted that, per the doctrines of Checks and Balances as advocated by the French Political Thinker, Baron de Montesquieu, the courts have the right to review and rule on the activities of both the Executive and Legislature. So the court, in theory did no wrong in entertainment the matter brought before it and judging it.
  4. But Parliament is also a Master of it’s one processes, now as even more independent arm of government. It can therefore decide to go by its own rules and work with its Standing Orders. But this, to my mind, shouldn’t be the case, as it may amount to paying the judiciary back, by snubbing their ruling and setting the stage for another chaotic clash in Parliament, between those who support the ruling and those who are against it. The way to go may be for a review of the decision to be sought at the Supreme Court.
  5. A key question that must engage our mind is, what happens to debate if those expected to moderate it takes to one side via partisan voting? This question must be answered taking cognizance of the fact that deputy speakers must not necessarily lose their right to represent their constituents simply by moderating debates. Perhaps we may want to rethink our constitution by looking for deputy speakers who do not represent constituencies just like the Speaker.
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Yaw Gyampo
A31, Prabiw
P.A.V. Ansah Street
Saltpond
&
Suro Nipa House
Kubease
Larteh-Akuapim

Source: 3news.com|Ghana