TV3’s Denis Pwaberi makes sense of the Supreme Court’s reasoning in the case of Deputy Speakers’ voting right

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The Supreme Court has told Parliament that even though they are masters of their own rules and procedures, those rules and procedures also have a master which is the 1992 Constitution.

In their ruling to the effect that Deputy Speakers can vote while presiding in the House, the Justices said “…Even though Parliament is a master of its own procedure, it cannot be overemphasized that all the House’s rules, orders, procedures and practices also have a master, the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.

“Specifically the authority of Parliament to regulate its own procedure is expressly subject to the provisions of the Constitution as provided in Article 110(1) of the constitution.”

“Specifically the authority of Parliament to regulate its own procedure is expressly subject to the provisions of the Constitution as provided in Article 110(1) of the constitution.”

It is recalled that Ningo Prampram lawmaker, Samuel Nartey George said even though the the Supreme Court had given its ruling, Parliament is a master of its own rules and procedures.

He said the ruling, instead of brining clarity on the matter, has rather brought confusion.

“They have given their ruling we have heard but I believe that there is a reason why our standing orders say that parliament is a master of its own affairs and that the procedure in Parliament resides in the bosom of Mr Speaker.

“For me, I cannot, for the life of me, be part of what I will deem an illegality which will be that the person presiding in the House will take part in a vote he is superintending over. I do not know what position my leadership or my party will take but my principled position is one that states that anyone presiding, be it Mr Speaker or any of his two deputies has absolutely no business taking part in the vote on the floor. “We will employ every legal means within the Parliamentary procedure to ensure that this long time tested practice of parliament which is 30 years old this year, will be upheld until the Lord Justices decide to start expunging part of the constitution like 104(5) for us to see that the application of the law is not skewed and imbalanced. I do not see why anyone who has conflict of interest should be allowed to vote.

“Why did the Lord Justices go silent on Standing Orders of Parliament that says that a chairman of a committee doesn’t have a vote, why are they not saying that that is also a deprivation of his constituents.SCANNED-CERTIFIED-TRUE-COPY-JUDGMENT-JUSTICE-ABDULAI-VRS-ATTORNEY-GENERAL-2Download

“We pray the Lord Justices, their role is to bring clarity not rather lead us co fusion and obfuscate what the facts are. the Law is clear . we have heard them, they have passed their ruling but Parliament we are masters of our own procedure , we will carry out what we believe is right on the floor of the chamber,” he said.

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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