Mahama advises Justice Abdulai to seek review

Former President John Mahama has advised Justice Abdulai, the applicant in the case on the voting rights of Deputy Speakers presiding over parliamentary proceedings to seek for review of the Supreme Court judgment.

He raised concern about how possible it would be for the Deputy Speakers who had been empowered to vote during proceedings to ‘impartially’ determine the winning side in situations there were voice votes.

“The first vote in most cases taken on motion in Parliament is a voice vote, the presiding officer, whether the Speaker or any of his/her Deputy Speakers, is supposed to listen to which is the loudest, the ayes or the nays and make a determination.”

“If the Deputy Speakers are allowed to vote, then they must take part, first, in the voice vote, if you are presiding and can shout aye or nay with your party in the voice vote, how do you impartially determine which was the loudest?”

“What is the determination of the Supreme Court? That Deputy Speakers can shout aye or nay with the side they agree or disagree with in the voice vote?” Former President Mahama queried and insisted that the Supreme Court judgment was absurd.

He called on Mr Abdulai to apply for a review of the judgment and described the judgment as regrettable, and he looked forward to the applicant applying for a review of the judgment.

The judgment was given in a case brought by a law professor, Justice Abdulai, who was contesting the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu’s decision to count himself for a vote on the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy which backed the position of Mr Osei-Owusu, who defended his decisive vote in the approval of the budget, although he was presiding as Speaker.

The court also struck down order 109 (3) of the Standing Orders of Parliament, describing it as unconstitutional.

On November 30, last year, Mr Osei-Owusu, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) Bekwai in the Ashanti Region, presided over the overturning of an earlier vote of the House rejecting the government’s 2022 Budget.

The First Deputy Speaker welcomed the judgment, describing it as refreshing but the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, however, described it as absurd and reckless. –

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