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Supreme Court can’t teach parliament how to do its work – Tain MP

The Member of Parliament for Tain constituency, Mr. Adama Sulemana has expressed worry over the Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling that Deputy Speakers can vote while presiding over parliamentary proceedings.

Speaking on Dwaboase on TV XYZ Thursday morning the freshman  MP observed that the ruling was not the best for the country’s democracy.

The Supreme Court presided over by Justice Jones Dotse ruled that a Deputy Speaker can be counted during the formation of a quorum for parliamentary decision-making and participate in voting while presiding over the parliamentary business.

The judgment was given after private legal practitioner, Justice Abdulai, filed a case against the Attorney-General to contest the First Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei-Owusu’s decision to count himself during a vote to approve the 2022 budget.

Justice Abdulai had also asked the Supreme Court to interpret Articles 102 and 104 of the 1992 Constitution and declare the action of Mr. Osei-Owusu as unconstitutional.

Although there have been mixed reactions in Parliament over the ruling, Mr. Adama Sulemana says the law-making chamber works with standing orders therefore the Apex court cannot dictate to them.

“What the Supreme Court has done means that the Standing Orders Committee has been rendered useless. Article 102 states clearly that whoever presides over proceedings shall not take part in voting in the house,” he stated.

“Article 102 says whoever is presiding cannot form a quorum. Remember that quorum is like voting. We needed no Supreme court to explain this.

“We work with our standing orders and so the Supreme Court can’t teach Parliament how it works,” he stated.

Asked what the impact of the ruling will be on Ghanaians, he said “The impact is that the Supreme Court has determined but Parliament has its Standing orders that it works with. It has made its ruling but Parliament also has how it conducts its business.”

His comment comes on the back of the Minority’s position that the ruling of the Court was politically motivated and one-sided.

Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak, described the position of the Supreme Court as an “attack on the legislature.”

Ningo Prampram MP, Sam George, who also reacted to the ruling stated the Minority would do anything legally to stop the Deputy Speaker from voting when presiding over proceedings of the House.

“This ruling of the Supreme Court, we are not surprised, but we are utterly disappointed in the Supreme Court which is determined to support a struggling President with an ailing economy.”

“This ruling of the Supreme Court can as best be described as judicial support for e-levy…to set aside Parliament standing orders, is a serious travesty of parliamentary justice,” he said.



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