I feel vindicated by SC verdict on voting right – First Deputy Speaker

The First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, has said he feels vindicated by the ruling of the Supreme Court which affirmed his decision to count himself to form a quorum to approve the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of government. 

The seven-member panel presided over by Justice Jones Dotse, in the landmark ruling yesterday held that the decision by Mr Osei-Owusu on December 1, 2021 to overturn the rejection of the budget by the House on November 27 was valid and not an affront to constitutional provisions. 

“I am glad that a decision practically affirms a position I took. I find that refreshing,” the New Patriotic Party (NPP)Member of Parliament for Bekwai (NPP) told journalists in Accra yesterday. 

According to the First Deputy Speaker, the ruling of the court should be seen as a shot in the arm of Ghana’s democracy and not an attack on same. 

The composition of the current Parliament, Mr Osei-Owusu said had brought to the fore the inadequacies of the constitution which have never been challenged. 

“Anytime there is a disagreement, as I have said already, I will interpret the law as I understand it. 

I encourage people who disagree with me to boldly state their position and if need be, refer it to the appropriate body like the Supreme Court to guide us. As at now, at the end of it all, we are all being guided.” 

The minority, he said, were entitled to their views on the constitution and the interpretation of same but must not elevate their interpretation above the Supreme Court because only the court’s interpretation holds supreme in constitutional matters. 

“The Supreme Court is the only body the 1992 Constitution has given the mandate to interpret constitutional matters.  

I do not know which ruling that has gone against the Minority that they have not basterdised. It is embarrassing. 

Even when they went to court without evidence, they still called their own failure to provide evidence to support their claim an aberration.” 

Mr Osei-Owusu controversial decision to overturn the rejection of the budget on December 1, 2021 prompted a law lecturer, Justice Abdullai, to head to the apex court for the true and proper interpretation of Articles 102 and 104. 

This was after the House, presided over by the Speaker, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, rejected the budget after the majority caucus staged a walk-out in the middle of proceedings on November 27. 

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

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