Amend Article 96 to allow qualified career civil servants to serve as Dep Speakers – Kwaku Asare

36789673 Prof Kweku Azar

Sat, 12 Mar 2022 Source: classfmonline.com

US-based Ghanaian professor and private legal practitioner, Kwaku Asare has called for the amendment of Article 96 to allow the recruitment and appointment of career civil servants to serve as deputy Speakers in Parliament.

This follows the ruling by the Supreme Court that says Deputy Speakers of Parliament have the right to vote while presiding over the House.

In a Facebook post on Friday, 11 March 2022, the Legal Practitioner, said: It is time for Parliament to amend Article 96 to allow the Public Service Commission to recruit and appoint two qualified career civil servants, not of the same gender, to serve in that role.”

According to the Law Practitioner, “this way no MP will be put in a position to preside over debates, determine which members may speak or which amendments are selected for consideration and to call a voice vote while simultaneously voting on proceedings that he has directed.”

He added that: “This equality of MP principle should be welcomed by all, especially deputy speakers who feel the current arrangement detracts from their role as MPs.”

In a unanimous decision on Wednesday, 9 March 2022, the apex court, presided over by a seven-member panel led by Justice Jones Dotse held that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 103 and 104 of the 1992 Constitution, a Deputy Speaker, who is a Member of Parliament, does not lose his right to take part in decision-making in parliament.

The decision comes after a lawyer, who is also a law lecturer, Justice Abdulai, petitioned the court to declare as unconstitutional, First Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei-Owusu’s action of counting himself as one of the MPs on the floor even while presiding over the proceedings of the house in relation to the formation of a quorum for the passage of the 2022 budget which had earlier been rejected and thrown out by the minority side.

Justice Abdulai was of the view that once a deputy speaker, who is an MP presides in the stead of the Speaker, he loses his right to vote.

The Supreme Court’s ruling effectively means either of the two deputy Speakers can vote while presiding over the house.

Source: classfmonline.com
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