Former President John Dramani Mahama has reacted to recent ruling by the Supreme Court affirming that a presiding Deputy Speaker is allowed to vote.
According to the 2020 flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress, NDC, the decision was “shocking but not surprising.”
He described the 7 – 0 decision by the Justice Jones Dotse-led panel as follows: “An unfortunate interpretation for convenience that sets a dangerous precedent of judicial interference in Parliamentary procedure for the future.”
The Supreme Court on Wednesday, March 9, 2022; delivered a ruling that affirmed that a deputy Speaker of Parliament retains their vote even when they are presiding over the House.
A seven-member panel of the apex court via a unanimous decision handed down the ruling which also declared parts of Parliament’s Standing Orders as unconstitutional.
The Justices who sat on the issue, according to a myjoyonline report were as follows:
Justice Jones Dotse – leader of the panel
Justice Nene Amegatcher
Justice Prof Ashie Kotey
Justice Mariama Owusu,
Justice Lovelace Johnson
Justice Clemence Honyenuga
Justice Emmanuel Kulendi
The Justice Jones Dotse-led panel by their ruling affirmed that the events of December 1, 2021 that saw Joseph Osei-Owusu, the First Deputy Speaker, count himself whiles presiding to support the approval of the 2022 Budget was constitutional.
The NDC Members of Parliament boycotted the vote that rescinded their earlier rejection of the same ballot before its approval by the Majority Group alone.
Whiles upholding arguments by the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, the court also struck out portions of the standing orders of parliament which reads: “A Deputy Speaker or any other member presiding shall not retain his original vote while presiding.”