Home World Deputy Speakers Vote: Supreme Court judgement a nullity — Kwaku Azar

Deputy Speakers Vote: Supreme Court judgement a nullity — Kwaku Azar

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The ruling of the Supreme Court which has affirmed the voting rights of presiding Deputy Speakers could be a nulity, Prof. Kwaku Asare has argued.

The private legal practitioner asserts that this is so because Parliament was not represented in the suit.

He argues since the outcome of the decision is to strike down a Standing Order of Parliament, the House ought to have been represented.

The unanimous decision of the apex court also affirmed that the presiding Deputy Speaker can be counted to meet a quorate number for decision making.

The decision folllows an action by Justice Abdulai which sought interpretation of Articles 102 and 104 of the Constitution, 1992.

Article 102 provides that at any sitting, a quorum must be 1/3 of all members except the person presiding.

For decision making however, 104(1) provides that the quorum be half of all members present…

The Supreme Court adjudged that once the Constitution placed no bar on the person presiding in 104 as it did in 102, a presiding Deputy Speaker should maintain their quorate and voting status for purposes of decision making.

This decision is at variance with Order 109 (3) of the Standing Orders of Parliament.

For this reason, Prof Asare who is noted for his activism in the legal space of the country, says the absence of the House as a party to the matter raises doubts to the validity of the outcome.

Article 2 (1) and Article 88 however, makes the Attorney General the party against whom such matter be filed.

Speaking on the show, CDD boss, Prof Kwesi Prempeh noted that due to the adversarial nature of Ghana’s legal system, and the fact that the A-G is a servant of the Executive, it is possible the A-G’s interest would be at variance with that of Parliament.

To that extent, the CDD boss said he agreed with Prof. Asare’s position that Parliament was not properly represented in the case that has now declared part of its Standing Orders null and void.

He, however, disagreed that the Supreme Court’s decision is a nullity.

According to him, the House had an option to join the suit as a party although the Constitution did not make it a direct party.

The House has been asked to take steps to rectify its standing orders.

Meanwhile, Justice Abdulai has served notice of asking for a review of the decision.



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