Attempt to block Joewise from voting in Parliament smacked of mischief – Dame welcomes SC ruling
“It is quite simple and straightforward. Nowhere in the constitution has any statement been made that whenever the Deputy Speaker presides he loses his right to vote. All the circumstances under which a Member of Parliament loses his right to vote have actually been spelt out in Article 104
The Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame has welcomed the Supreme Court ruling dismissing the application against the First Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei Owusu (Joewise) for counting himself while presiding in Parliament.
He said the ruling confirms best parliamentary practices in most advanced democracies around the world.
“It is quite simple and straightforward. Nowhere in the constitution has any statement been made that whenever the Deputy Speaker presides he loses his right to vote. All the circumstances under which a Member of Parliament loses his right to vote have actually been spelt out in Article 104.
“It is also very important to know that in all jurisdictions around the world whenever the Speaker of Parliament or a Deputy speaker is a Member of Parliament, he always has the right to vote. In England it is the same, in America it is the same, in Australia, Canada it is the same. In Kenya, in South Africa it is the same
“I think the ruling by the Supreme Court is clearly is in accord with practices around the world clearly borne our by the letter and sprit.”
Those scenes in Parliament were clearly needless and were really inspired by mischief. All the mischief makers should have known whenever some body is presiding that person does not lose his rights top vote.”
The apex court on Wednesday dismissed an application to pronounce as unconstitutional, Joseph Osei Wusu’s action of counting himself for the purposes of quorum.
Justice Jones Dotse ruled that the Deputy Speaker of Parliament participation in voting was constitutional.
Private legal practitioner and law lecturer, Justice Abdulai subsequent to the November 30, 2021 clash between Speaker Bagbin and his First Deputy after the latter overturned an earlier vote of the House rejecting Government’s 2022 Budget invited the Supreme Court to pronounce as unconstitutional, Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu’s action of counting himself for the purposes of quorum.
He argued in the context of articles 102 and 104 of the 1992 Constitution that the Deputy Speaker was not permitted to count himself for the purposes of quorum, since he had neither an original nor a casting vote as Speaker presiding.
But the 7-member panel of justices ruled that the Member of Parliament for Bekwai exercised his right constitutionally, TV3’s Laud Adu Asare who was in court reported.
The SC struck out the standing order 109(3) which says a Deputy Speaker or any other member presiding shall not retain his original vote while presiding.
It furthered that the Deputy Speaker can be counted during the quorum for decision making according to article 104(1)
Justice Jones Dotse noted that the full ruling will be made available on Friday, March 11.