Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi, has urged Parliament to resist the latest Supreme Court ruling in a matter involving whether or not a Deputy Speaker can vote whiles presiding.
According to him, the consequent ruling by the apex court on the matter was disappointing.
Speaking on Good Morning Ghana programme on March 10, Sammy Gyamfi said the verdict was unconstitutional.
He mentioned that Parliament must thus resist the ‘unholy intrusion’ upon its independence as an arm of government.
“The decision by the Supreme Court on the issue of whether or not a Deputy Speaker of Parliament while presiding can be counted as part of a quorum and can vote is very disappointing but not surprising to some of us because some of us expected it to go the way it has gone.
“My position on this latest decision is that the decision by the Supreme Court to the effect that the Deputy Speaker can be counted as part of quorum for decision making and can vote while presiding is patently unconstitutional and flawed in logic.
“Again, it is an unholy intrusion upon the independence and functions of Parliament which I think Parliament should resist,” he said.
Sammy Gyamfi further charged the Speaker and MPs to assert their independence by questioning why the judiciary will overstep it boundaries.
“…The Supreme Court says ‘no’, we will make your own rules and regulations for you. Your referee, the one presiding can vote…he can be counted as part of quorum, he can be a judge in his own cause against the principles of natural justice…how can the Supreme Court do that. Parliament? I think Parliament must stand up and assert its independence.
“I am looking at the Speaker of Parliament…they are an independent arm of government. If the judiciary has overstepped their boundaries like I believe the Supreme court has done, the Rt Hon Speaker and the Members of Parliament should assert their independence,” he added.
The Supreme Court on March 9 whiles delivering a landmark ruling indicated that Deputy Speakers have the right to vote while presiding and also form part of quorum for decision making.
It additionally struck out portions of Parliament’s Standing Orders that read: “A Deputy Speaker or any other member presiding shall not retain his original vote while presiding.”
Whiles the Majority group has hailed the ruling of the Supreme Court, the Minority group through it Chief Whip Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka has served notice to seek a review.