SC’s ruling affirming that Deputy Speakers can vote travesty of justice-NDC Youth Wing
The youth wing of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), has described the unanimous judgment of the Supreme Court affirming that Deputy Speakers of Parliament can vote while presiding is a dangerous precedent to parliamentary procedure.
It is the view of the youth wing that the ruling the court is a travesty of justice.
The youth in a statement said it is “saddened that, the flagrant violation of our constitution by the NPP led caucus in Parliament has received judicial blessing from the Supreme Court, our last hope against arbitrariness, disregard for our laws and rule according to the wishes of the President.”
Private legal practitioner and law professor Justice Abdulai, had gone to court challenging the Deputy Speaker’s decision to count himself as forming a quorum for a vote on the 2022 budget.
But the court in its ruling stated that the deputy speakers have the right to vote and be counted to form a quorum.
Read the full statement below:
STATEMENT ON THE JUDGMENT OF SUPREME COURT OF 9TH MARCH 2020 ON A DEPUTY SPEAKER’S RIGHT TO VOTE WHEN PRESIDING AND THE FORMATION OF QUORUM IN PARLIAMENT
The Youth Wing of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is utterly dismayed by the conclusions reached by the Supreme Court in its judgment of 9th March 2022 on a Deputy Speaker’s right to vote when presiding and the formation of quorum for parliamentary business.
This decision, similar to earlier ones bordering on the interpretation of clear and unambiguous provisions of our 1992 Constitution raises grave concerns about the role of the Supreme Court in protecting our democracy, rule of law and constitutional rule.
It is instructive to note that, the framers of our constitution did not intend anyone presiding as a Speaker of Parliament to both preside over proceedings of parliament and at the same time participate in voting on matters over which such a person presided. It is for this reason that, Parliament in accordance with its constitutionally granted powers made its rules to prohibit anyone from presiding and voting on matters over which such person presided as a Speaker.
Since 1993, the Parliament of the 4th Republic has shown fidelity to this sound parliamentary procedure and practice which reinforces the common sense principle that, one cannot be a referee and a player at the same time or be a judge in one’s own cause.
We are saddened that, the flagrant violation of our constitution by the NPP-led caucus in Parliament has received judicial blessing from the Supreme Court, our last hope against arbitrariness, disregard for our laws and rule according to the wishes of the President.
We contend that, this current ruling is a travesty of justice, abuse of judicial power and failure of the court to attain the ends of justice on the part of the ordinary people of this country, especially where the violation of our constitution is being sought to pass the unpopular e-levy.
Our position is fortified by the Court’s long-held position that, matters of Parliamentary business are closed shops and cannot be subject matters for judicial activism.
Nonetheless, we strongly believe Parliament as an institution will strongly resist this attempt to usurp its powers and control its practices through judicial decisions at this critical time of our nation where what we seek is cooperation and consensus-building rather than show of force by the Executive.
We urge the Supreme Court to reconsider its role as the protector of our democracy and constitutional rule, and to at all times act in a manner that promotes the performance of that sacred duty in fidelity to our constitution and not to the wishes of any person.
We the youth of Ghana have lost hope and confidence in the current Executive led by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and remain suspicious of his manipulation of state institutions in support of his unpopular policies.
Therefore, it is imperative for the Judiciary to guard against any such attempts by the Executive and regain the confidence of the good people of Ghana.
We register our unflinching support for the NDC caucus in Parliament and expect their continuous defense of our Constitution.
Arise Ghana youth for your country, its time to unite and devote your efforts in defense of your beloved country.
Long live our democracy!
Short live judicial injustice!!
George Opare-Addo Esq.
National Youth Organizer, NDC