Private legal practitioner, Moses Foh-Amoaning, has stated that the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu (Joewsie) should have been allowed to vote during the proceedings on the E-levy.
Mr. Foh-Amonaning reacting to the incident explained that Joewise is a Member of Parliament hence, must not lose the right to vote on behalf of the people who elected him as their representative.
“I think you have got to understand the way the constitution is structured. A Member of Parliament gets voted for. He represents his people so, he can never lose the capacity to be numbered amongst that number in terms of the Parliamentarians. Whether as a deputy speaker or not, he must be counted as a Member of Parliament. Because otherwise, Parliament itself will be short, because we are supposed to have 275. He should be allowed to vote,” he said.
He added “We have got to interpret the constitution with the spirit because if he loses his vote, why is he in Parliament?
“He is in Parliament representing his people and the people have put him there so he can be able to express the will of those people in voting.
“I am stating the constitutional principle. If this matter gets before the Supreme Court I am sure they are going to uphold my view. You cannot change the ability of a Parliamentarian to exercise his vote to represent his people because that is the will that the people had expressed. Article 1 of the constitution says sovereignty resides with the people,” he said on the Good Evening Ghana show on Tuesday December 21.
On Monday, December 20 Members of Parliament traded fisticuffs in the House just before the final vote on the controversial Electronic Transfer Levy Bill, also known as e-levy.
The sit-in Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, had announced that a division would be followed to approve the Bill, presented under a certificate of urgency, and he was going to vote as well in his capacity as a Member of Parliament.
That provoked the National Democratic Congress (NDC) members, who questioned his decision to vote after presiding over the night’s proceedings.
They moved to the front of the dais, issuing threats at the Bekwai MP.
This got the Majority MPs to also start agitations and immediately Mr Osei-Owusu handed the presiding role to the Second Deputy Speaker, Andrew Amoako Asiamah, the fight broke out.