Deputy Speaker Voting: Parliament Setting Bad Precedence – John Mahama

Former President John Dramani Mahama
Former President John Dramani Mahama

Former President John Dramani Mahama has described the Supreme Court ruling that said Deputy Speakers of Parliament have the right to vote in decision-making while presiding over proceedings of the House as “shocking but not surprising”.

According to Mr Mahama, the ruling of the Supreme Court is “an unfortunate interpretation for convenience that sets a dangerous precedent of judicial interference in Parliamentary procedure for the future.”

The former Ghanaian leader said this in a Facebook post.

His view dovetails into the position of the Minority in parliament who have also described the ruling as a judicial interference in a time-tested parliamentary practice and established conventions.

Speaking to the media, Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu noted: “Everywhere in the world, in civilised democracies, including the United Kingdom, the presiding officer’s vote is discounted, so, it’s not for nothing that Article 102 provides that ‘A person presiding shall have no original nor casting vote’.”

In his view, the Supreme Court ruling is just a “judicial support for e-levy and nothing more, judicial support for a struggling economy in distress and a judicial support for the restoration of a matter that they have said is constitutional; it’s repugnant to the provisions of Articles 102 and 104”.

Despite acknowledging that the Supreme Court has the mandate to interpret the law, Mr Iddrisu maintained “this is a travesty of parliamentary justice and a stab in the growth and development of multiparty constitutional democracy built on the spirit of checks and balances…”

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