Be circumspect in your criticism of SC’s legal ruling on voting rights of Deputy Speakers-Danquah Institute

A Civil Society Organization, Danquah Institute has described Supreme Court’s ruling that Deputy Speakers can vote when presiding as level.

The Institute indicated through a statement that all laws in the country including the Standing Orders of Parliament are subservient to the 1992 Constitution.

Article 1(2) of the Constitution, therefore, provides that “This Constitution shall be the supreme law of Ghana and any other law found to be inconsistent with any provision of this Constitution shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.”

“The Supreme Court of Ghana has ruled that Standing Order 109(3) of the Standing Orders of Parliament, which was made pursuant to Article 110(1) of the 1992 Constitution, and which provides that a Deputy Speaker or any other person presiding shall not retain his original vote while presiding, is unconstitutional,” it said.

“The full judgment has been made available and we call on all to peruse the judgment to appreciate the rationale for the decision to declare Standing Order 109(3) of the Standing Orders of Parliament unconstitutional,” Danquah Institute added.

The statement indicated that “We sincerely believe that Ghanaians must be made to understand that no one branch of government under our Constitution (including Parliament) is a law unto its own self. Rather, all are subject to the provisions of the Constitution as has been outlined above.”

Meanwhile, it has asked Ghanaians to be circumspect in their utterances in order not to put the judiciary in a bad light.

“In as much as we recognize the right of individuals to constructive criticisms and intellectual debates, it is our respected view that all of such should be made with decorum and respect and devoid of scandalizing the sanctity of the very arm of Government (Judiciary) that serves as the resort for people seeking justice,” Danquah Institute added.


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