- John Dramani Mahama has reacted to the ruling by the Supreme Court that a deputy speaker can vote while presiding in Parliament
- The former president described the controversial ruling as "shocking but not surprising" and a dangerous precedent
- Many other people have also criticised the ruling as an interference in decades-old convention of the legislature
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Former President John Dramani Mahama has joined growing critics of a ruling yesterday by the Supreme Court that deputy speakers presiding in Parliament do not lose their votes.
The ruling on Wednesday, March 9, 2022, means that a deputy speaker, while presiding over proceedings in Parliament, has the right to vote on matters and be counted as part of the quorum for decision-making in the House.
The seven-member Supreme Court bench ruled unanimously that upon a true and proper interpretation of the relevant parts of the 1992 Constitution, a deputy speaker who takes up the role of Speaker of Parliament temporarily has the right to take part in decisions.
Since the ruling, the Minority in Parliament, academics and governance experts have said the Supreme Court seems to have interfered in the decades-old Standing Orders of the legislature.
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Adding his voice, John Mahama, who led the opposition NDC as the presidential candidate in the last election, said the ruling is “shocking but not surprising”.
“An unfortunate interpretation for convenience that sets a dangerous precedent of judicial interference in Parliamentary procedure for the future,” the former president posted on Facebook on Thursday, March 10, 2022.
The many voices condemning the ruling by the apex court are of the opinion that the Supreme Court bench should have stayed away from interfering in Parliament, which has the backing of the Constitution to be ‘masters of their own rules’.
Supreme Court Accused Of Judicial Interference In Work Of Parliament
The Minority in Parliament has criticised a ruling on Wednesday by the Supreme Court that a Deputy Speaker presiding in Parliament can vote on matters and be counted as part of the quorum for decision-making in the House.
Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, said shortly after the ruling on Wednesday, March 9, 2022, that the ruling is not disappointing, but interference in the globally-accepted parliamentary practice. “Our attention has been drawn to a very disappointing ruling of the Supreme Court of Ghana which more or less amounts to a judicial interference in time-tested parliamentary practice and established conventions.
“Everywhere in the world, in civilised democracies, including the United Kingdom, the presiding officers vote is discounted. So it is not for nothing that Article 102 provides that a person presiding shall have no original or casting vote…” he said in video published by Joy News.
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