Quorum: First Deputy Speaker Welcomes Supreme Court Ruling

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Joseph Osei Owusu
Joseph Osei Owusu
Spining

The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu has welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court to allow a Deputy Speaker can be counted to form a quorum for parliamentary decision and voting of the House.

According to him, the ruling by the court vindicates the position he took to be counted as a Member of Parliament (MP) present to constitute the quorum for parliamentary decision.

“The decision practically affirms the position I took; there is still some misrepresentation as to whether I participated in the vote itself on the night of the 30th of November, 2021…Anybody who is in doubt must go back and look at the clip it was a voice vote, and I did not participate in the voice vote.”

Mr Osei-Owusu made the observation in reaction to the ruling by the Supreme Court on Wednesday to allow a Deputy Speaker can be counted to form a quorum for parliamentary decision and to vote.

Mr Osei-Owusu also stated that matters that have never arise are now in the fore because of the equal numbers the parties have in the chamber.

He encouraged people who disagreed with him to boldly state their position and if need be, refer it to the appropriate body like the Supreme Court for interpretation, saying, “at the end of it all we are being guided.”

He was very elated that clarity had been brought to the issue by Supreme Court in their ruling that he can be counted to form a quorum for parliamentary decision and voting.

“So, I am very glad that indeed that clarity has been given but am not surprised the test of the constitution was very clear even the article 109 (93) was clear that you shall not retain the original vote whereas in the case of Mr Speaker he said you shall not have either original or casting votes.

When it came to the Deputy Speakers, he said you shall not retain the original vote the natural consequence was that you would have a casting vote this decision of the Supreme Court appears to affirm that position that was strongly argued” he added.

Mr Osei-Owusu also maintained that the ruling of the Supreme Court is to remove any ambiguities with respect to people’s interpretation on the matter.

“What the supreme court has done in my view is to clear the way and remove any ambiguities with that respect….

“What I know is that this matter was put to the Supreme Court to interpret the Constitution and standing orders was pitched against the constitution the Supreme Court has concluded.

“I think that the Supreme Court has cleared it and we are all bound by the interpretation,” he said.

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