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Mahama on Supreme Court ruling: it’s a dangerous precedent

Former President John Dramani Mahama has reacted the Supreme Court’s ruling on the issue of a Deputy Speaker who is presiding over proceedings being able to also vote on the matter he is presiding over, describing the Court’s decision as a “dangerous precedent of judicial interference in parliamentary procedure”.

Mr. Mahama who was for three terms a Member of Parliament for Bole Bamboi, lamented in a tweet and Facebook post that while he was shocked on hearing the Court’s ruling, he was not surprised.

The Supreme Court’s decision upheld the decision of First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu, defending his vote overturning the rejection of the 2022 budget during a previous sitting presided over by Speaker Bagbin.

The ruling by the country’s apex court, presided over by Justice Jones Dotse said a Deputy Speaker can be counted as MP and part of a quorum and also vote while presiding. 

“An unfortunate interpretation for convenience that sets a dangerous precedent of judicial interference in Parliamentary procedure for the future.”

In another tweet, the former President said: “If Deputy Speakers, because they are Members of Parliament, can vote while presiding as Speaker, they could as well be able to participate in any debate on the floor over which they are presiding. This is the absurdity into which the Supreme Court ruling leads us.”

Earlier, minority leader Haruna Iddrisu described the ruling as “a judicial support for the E-levy”.

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