Osei Owusu reacts after Supreme Court ruling on his voting rights

Joseph Osei Owusu1211313131 Joseph Osei-Owusu is First Deputy Speaker

Wed, 9 Mar 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Supreme Court decides Deputy Speaker can vote as sitting Speaker

Joe Wise' vote on budget valid, Supreme Court

Supreme Court's ruling refreshing, Joe Wise

Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu has reacted to a decision by the Supreme Court to allow for any Deputy Speaker sitting in for a Speaker over proceedings, to participate in voting, and to be counted as a Member of Parliament to form a quorum.

The court gave the unanimous decision today, March 9, 2022, after it dismissed a writ by a law lecturer, Justice Abdulai, who was challenging the decision of Mr. Owusu to be counted as part of the quorum to pass the budget.

Justice Abdulai was seeking an interpretation by the Supreme Court on Articles 102 and 104 of the 1992 Constitution and declaring the action of Osei Owusu as unconstitutional.

He also wanted the Supreme Court to declare the whole proceedings in Parliament on November 30, 2021, which led to the passage of the 2022 budget as unconstitutional, insisting the Deputy Speaker should not have counted himself as an MP when he presided over proceedings.

But the Supreme Court in its ruling decided that a Deputy Speaker of Parliament presiding over proceedings in Parliament has the right to be counted in decision making and has the right to participate in voting.

Reacting to this on the sides of parliament on Wednesday, Joe Wise as he is often referred to, expressed delight about the Supreme Court’s decision.

According to him, the Supreme Court’s decision buttresses his previous position that he had the right to be counted as a member of Parliament present to form a quorum in the process of decision making.

“The decision practically affirms the position that I took……I did not participate in the voice vote but I insisted that I be counted as a member of parliament present to constitute the quorum before the decision was taken.

“This decision affirms that position that I took. I find that very refreshing.

“I am very glad that indeed that clarity has been given… the text of the Constitution was very clear and even the Article 109(3) was clear that you shall not retain the original vote whereas in the case of the Speaker it said you shall not have either original or casting vote. When it came to the Deputy Speaker, it said you shall not retain the original vote. The natural consequence was that you would have a casting vote. This decision of the Supreme Court appears to affirm that position that I strongly agreed with,” he noted.

Joe Wise also insisted that the misconception that he participated in voting on the budget is false. He insists he only participated in a voice vote and not the voting process in itself.

“There’s still some misrepresentation as to whether I participated in the vote itself on the night of the 30th. That I must emphasise that anybody in doubt must go back and look at the clip. It was a voice vote,” he noted.

According to a Graphic report, the court presided over by Justice Jones Dotse, held that the Deputy Speaker does not lose his right to take part in decision-making upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 103 and 104 of the 1992 Constitution.

The court, therefore, held that the passing of the budget on November 30, 2021 in which Joe Osei Owusu, the First Deputy Speaker counted himself as part of the quorum, was valid.

Also, the court has struck down order 109(3) of the standing orders of Parliament which prevented a deputy speaker presiding from voting, as unconstitutional.

Justices Jones Dotse, Nene Amegatcher, Prof Ashie Kotey, Mariama Owusu, Lovelace Johnson, Clemence Honyenuga and Emmanuel Kulendi decided on and gave the ruling.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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