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NDC must demand Deputy Speaker role

Fomena 20201111 Fomena MP Andrew Amoako Asiamah is the second deputy speaker

Sat, 16 Jan 2021 Source: Benjamin Essuman

(1) "MAJORITY" or "MINORITY" in the Standing Orders refers to "PARTY OR PARTIES" not individuals or Groups.

Standing Order. 7 states:- The Party or Parties holding majority of the seats in the House

The law does NOT say the Group with the majority of seats. The law mentioned "PARTY OR PARTIES" meaning political party or parties.

(2) Interpreting the Standing Orders, such that PARTY or PARTIES can mean a GROUP, has enabled the Rt Honorable Speaker to resolve the conundrum as to who forms the MAJORITY and therefore gets to sit on the right. So, henceforth, the word PARTY/PARTIES in the standing orders can be interchanged or replaced with the word GROUP.

(3) This interpretation by Speaker Alban Bagbin, then gave meaning to the case of the NPP that the declaration by the Independent MP from Fomena, to join the NPP MPs as a Group (not as a party) makes that group (NPP) the MAJORITY with 138 seats.

(4) The consequential effect of this ruling is that, this interpretation of party/parties to mean a GROUP means Standing Order 12 is hereby also affected, because the operational word, PARTY, in that clause must likewise be interpreted to mean GROUP.

Standing Order 12(2) states:- The Deputy Speakers shall not be Members of the same political Party

(5) Understandably, the two Deputy, Speakers of Parliament cannot come from the same PARTY/GROUP.

Therefore, it stands to reason that with the 1st and 2nd Deputy Speakers sitting in the same NPP Group, they would have breached Standing Order 12(2).

As a result, the election of the 1st and 2nd Deputy Speakers of Parliament, must be declared null and void.

A new election is required in the House to elect a new set of 1st and 2nd Deputy Speakers from different GROUPS in line with Standing Order 12.

NDC MPs, the ball is now in your court.

Columnist: Benjamin Essuman