The Apex Court of the Republic of Ghana under the leadership of the Chief Justice Kwesi Anin-Yeboah has ruled that, Deputy Speakers of Parliament has the voting rights while presiding over proceedings of Parliament.
According to the unanimous 7:0 ruling of the Supreme Court, the vote of Deputy Speakers or any other member of the Legislative House who assumes the Speaker’s role to preside over a matter must be counted.
The ruling which was announced on Wednesday, March 9, 2022, allows the vote of a Deputy Speaker to be counted if he presides over proceedings in the absence of the Speaker.
The Court said, in a situation where the Speaker of Parliament is absent, the Deputy Speaker’s vote must be counted to form Parliamentary quorum in determining/passing judgement on substantive matters brought before the House.
Also, it has been ruled that the standing Order 109(3) of Parliament has been crossed out as unconstitutional.
It appears that, the Supreme Court ruling has contravene the Standing Orders of Legislative House which says “Article 109 (3) of the Standing Orders of Parliament says, a Deputy Speakers or any other Member presiding shall not retain his original vote while presiding.”
This was triggered by a law Lecturer Justice Adbulai who filed a case at the Supreme Court challenging the voting rights of the 1st Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei-Owusu during the approval of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy presented to Parliament by Ken Ofori-Atta.
Justice Adbulai, has sought for a declaration that, it’s unconstitutional for Deputy Speaker of Parliament, to have counted himself to make up the quorum during the approval of the budget.
But, the Apex Court has ruled in favor of the 1st Deputy Speaker.