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SC ruling is a declaration of support for E-levy, Haruna Iddrisu

Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu has described as “a judicial support for the E-levy”, Wednesday’s ruling by the Supreme Court that a Deputy Speaker who is presiding over Parliament can also vote and be part of the quorum of the house. 

The Supreme Court presided over by Justice Jones Dotse in a case brought by private legal practitioner Justice Abdulai ruled that “a deputy speaker is entitled to be counted for purposes of quorum. A deputy speaker or any other member is entitled to vote in decision making.”

The court also declared the passage of the 2022 budget as constitutional and declared Order 109(3) of Parliament’s Standing Orders as unconstitutional.

Mr. Iddrisu, who is the MP for Tamale South, at a press conference said the judiciary has by this judgment failed the country’s parliamentary democracy.

“On the matter as to whether a person presiding as speaker can exercise a vote while presiding, our attention has been drawn to a very disappointing ruling of the Supreme Court of Ghana, which more or less amounts to a judicial interference in time-tested parliamentary practice and established conventions”, he stated.

Hon. Iddrisu further argued that “everywhere in the world, in civilized democracies, including the United Kingdom, the presiding officer’s vote is discounted. So, it is not for nothing that article 102, provides that, a person presiding shall have no original or casting vote.” 

“The Supreme Court, to put it aptly, this ruling is a judicial support for E-levy, nothing more. Judicial support for a struggling economy in distress. This is a judicial support for President Nana Addo Danquah’s E-levy, that he is labouring to pass”, the minority leader added.

He also re-stated the minority’s opposition to the E-levy, “stitch by stitch, clause by clause, article by article. When it is presented, we will fight back strongly with our 137 votes.”

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.

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