Parliament still has power to regulate its proceedings – Joe Wise

1.21430155 Joseph Osei-Owusu is First Deputy Speaker of Parliament

Fri, 11 Mar 2022 Source: GNA

Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu, the First Deputy Speaker, Thursday, says the Supreme Court’s ruling (of March 9), has not taken away Parliament’s power to regulate its owning proceedings.

The First Deputy Speaker, who was presiding over the House, reiterated that Parliament still had the power to regulate its own proceedings.

He gave the explanation when Mr Richard Acheampong, Member of Parliament (MP) for Bia East, said the Supreme Court’s ruling of March 9, had taken away the power of Parliament to regulate itself, saying “..so, we are no longer masters of our own rules”.

He noted that Order 109 (3) of their Standing Orders had been struck out by the Supreme Court, hence, the Standing Orders of the House was now defective, because it (Standing Order 109 (3) was part of the entire Standing Orders of the House.

“So Mr, Speaker we are not masters of our own rules. The Supreme Court has given another purposive interpretation to the Standing Orders and strike part of it out,” Mr Acheampong said.

Order 109 (3) states that “A Deputy Speaker or any other member presiding shall not retain his original vote while presiding”.

However, Mr Osei-Owusu said Article 110(1) of the 1992 Constitution states that “Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, Parliament may, by Standing Orders, regulate its own procedure”.

The First Deputy Speaker said: “So, everything Parliament does regarding regulation of its procedure is subject to the Constitution. So, what the Supreme Court said was that the particular Standing Order is against the Constitution. It has not taken away the right to regulate it. And that misinformation is going out unfairly.

“…..We should not be misinforming the public when it comes to matters like this. Leaders should speak sparingly.

“So, please whatever we do here to regulate our business is subject to the Constitution. If for any reason anybody sees a clause or otherwise is against the Constitution, it is the Supreme Court that will determine whether it is against the Constitution or we ourselves say no the Constitution does not give us the power to do “a” or “b” or “c”.

“Once that determination has been done, if a member wish to ask for a review or appeal against that, it is opened to us. But let’s stop misinforming the public that the Supreme Court has taken away the power of Parliament to regulate itself.

No. We still have the power to regulate our proceedings, except that we must work within, not outside the Constitution.”

In the House to answer questions from MP was Mrs Mavis Hawa Koomson, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development.

Mr Ibrahim Murtala Muhammed, MP for Tamale Central, drew the attention of the Speaker that the fact the House had not met the requirement to form a quorum.

After a head count, the total number of Members of the House present at the time of the count was 41, the Speaker subsequently adjourned sitting to Friday, March 11, at 1000 hours.

Source: GNA
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