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Supreme Court: Deputy Speakers Can Contribute To Quorum Formation

The Supreme Court of Ghana has interpreted that Deputy Speakers of Parliament cannot be deprived of their rights of representing their Constituencies while presiding over the business of the House of Parliament.

Private legal practitioner, Justice Abdulai ran to the Supreme Court to get it to declare as unconstitutional, the conduct of the First Deputy Speaker, Joe Osei Owusu, in counting himself to form a quorum while presiding over the affairs of Parliament on November 30, 2021, in the stead of Speaker Alban Bagbin that led to the re-adoption of the 2022 budget statement and Economic Policy.

It was argued that the first deputy speaker could not count himself to form quorum citing Articles 104 and 102 which respectively says that “(1) Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, matters in Parliament shall be determined by the votes of the majority of members present and voting, with at least half of all the members of Parliament present. (2) The Speaker shall have neither an original nor casting vote.” and “A quorum of Parliament, apart from the person presiding, shall be one-third of all the members of Parliament.”

The Supreme Court today per a report by CNR Court Correspondent monitored by opemsuo.com, indicated that Deputy Speakers will be counted to form the quorum to conduct businesses as captured under article 104 (1) of the 1992 constitution and can partake in voting on the floor of parliament.

The report added that a member of the House ascending the seat to preside over business does not take away the person’s right to represent his people in decision making.

The decision was a unanimous one.

The Minority in Parliament, however, indicated that by the interpretation of the Court, there might be a redefinition of the Deputy Speakers of Parliament.

“We will just recognise them as MP for Fomena and MP for Bekwai, nothing more”, the Minority leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu told the media.

Source: opemsuo.com/Hajara Fuseini

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