Supreme Court strikes out aspects of Standing Orders of Parliament

The Supreme Court of Ghana has struck out aspects of the Standing Orders of Parliament, Order 109(3) which says a Deputy Speaker or any other member presiding shall not retain his original vote while presiding.

The apex court on Wednesday dismissed an application to pronounce as unconstitutional, Joseph Osei Wusu’s action of counting himself for the purposes of quorum.

Justice Jones Dotse ruled that the Deputy Speaker of Parliament participation in voting was constitutional.

Private legal practitioner and law lecturer, Justice Abdulai subsequent to the November 30, 2021 clash between Speaker Bagbin and his First Deputy after the latter overturned an earlier vote of the House rejecting Government’s 2022 Budget invited the Supreme Court to pronounce as unconstitutional, Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu’s action of counting himself for the purposes of quorum.

He argued in the context of articles 102 and 104 of the 1992 Constitution that the Deputy Speaker was not permitted to count himself for the purposes of quorum, since he had neither an original nor a casting vote as Speaker presiding.

But the 7-member panel of justices ruled that the Member of Parliament for Bekwai exercised his right constitutionally, TV3’s Laud Adu Asare who was in court reported.

Reacting to the ruling, the plaintiff, Justice Abdulai told journalists that this is a victory for the constitution.

“I am not surprised because I am a lawyer, I know that going to court there are only two outcomes, it is not like a football game where there will be a draw, it will either be a win or a lose.

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“But in this case, I think no one lost, the constitution wins, the people of Ghana win, this is the best decision that I think we should have had, it puts clarity on the law despite the fact that some of the reliefs I was seeking were not obtained.

“There is a far-reaching decision that has been made by the Supreme Court today to the extent of striking out portions of the Standing Orders.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana