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General News Fri, 11 Mar 2022

Supreme Court has no authority to misinterpret Constitution to suit political interests – ABA Fuseini

Member of Parliament for the Sagnarigu Constituency in the Northern Region has accused the Supreme Court of double standards in the recent ruling on whether or not a presiding Deputy Speaker is allowed to vote.

According to Alhassan Bashir Alhassan Fuseini, the apex court’s ruling on Wednesday, March 9, 2022, that affirmed that presiding Deputy Speakers could vote was politically tainted and a misinterpretation of the law.

“The Supreme Court has no authority to misinterpret the Constitution to suit their own political interest, they are tasked as the organ of government to interpret the law, no argument about that.

“But it is not their duty misinterpret the law and to mischievously twist the law to suit their own interests, they have no such authority,” he told Joy News’ Parliamentary correspondent.

He asked how MPs will going forward treat the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, “Are we going to treat the First Deputy Speaker as a Member of Parliament or as a Speaker? So that when he sits in the chair, we will treat him as an ex-member of Parliament,” he charged.

The Minority Caucus to which he belongs have expressly rejected the decision with Leader Haruna Iddrisu referring to it as repugnant to the provisions in Article 102 and 104.

“The Court’s ruling aptly captures the judicial support for the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-levy), for a struggling economy in destress,” he said.

“The Judiciary of Ghana is also failing Ghana’s parliamentary democracy in their inability to appreciate the true meaning of Article 110 of the 1992 Constitution that Parliament shall, by Standing Orders, regulate its own proceedings.”

Background

Following controversy over the rejection and later approval of the 2022 budget by one-sided Caucuses of the 8th Parliament, a private legal practitioner, Justice Abdulai, filed a case against at the Attorney General at the Supreme Court.

He prayed the Court to interpret two Articles - 102 and 104 - of the 1992 Constitution and by so doing to declare the proceedings in Parliament on November 30, 2021, which led to the passage of the 2022 Budget and Economic Policy as unconstitutional.

He specifically cited the fact that the Presiding Speaker, First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, had counted his vote despite acting as Speaker.

However, in defence of the State, the Attorney-General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, argued that there was no express provision in the 1992 Constitution that stops a Deputy Speaker presiding over proceedings from voting or counting himself as part of MPs present to form the right quorum.
Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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