AG Hails SC Judgment Over Deputy Speakers’ Right To Vote When Presiding

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The Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Dame, has welcomed the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision that Deputy Speakers of Parliament can vote even when they are presiding as Speaker.

“I think the reasoning by the Supreme Court is clearly sound and is in accord with the practice in other jurisdictions around the world,” he said.

Mr. Dame indicated that he was confident the right of the Deputy Speakers to vote while serving as Speaker would be affirmed.

“Nowhere in the constitution has any statement been made that whenever a deputy speaker presides, he loses his right to vote.”

“All the circumstances under which a member of Parliament loses his right to vote have actually been spelt in Article 104,” Mr. Dame said.

The judgment backed the position of the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu, who defended his decisive vote in the approval of the 2022 budget, although he was presiding as Speaker.

The Court also struck down order 109 (3) of the Standing Orders of Parliament, describing it as unconstitutional.

On November 30, last year, Mr. Osei-Owusu, also the Bekwai MP, presided over the overturning of an earlier vote of the House rejecting the government’s 2022 Budget.

The landmark judgment was given in a case brought by a law professor, Justice Abdulai contesting the Deputy Speaker’s decision to count himself as forming a quorum for a vote on the budget.

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