“After Keenly Following Supreme Court’s Decision On Dept. Speakers Has Left Me Very Disappointed” – Political Analyst
Mr. Clement Acheampong: Political Analyst/Lecturer
After keenly following the Supreme Court decision allowing the Deputy Speakers of parliament to retain their original votes even when presiding has left me very disappointed.
Firstly, the Minority Leader alleges that the SC has interfered in the work of the legislature particularly when they categorically declared a section of the Standing Order (109) null and void. The order, which specifically barred the Deputy Speakers, whiles presiding, from voting. He stated that parliament is a master of its own rules and as such the SC should not have made such a ruling.
But, my question is, what was parliament doing when a private citizen went to court to seek interpretation of the approval of the 2022 budget and if the first Deputy Speaker was right in voting? A proactive parliament, particularly the minority which has the biggest stake should have drawn the attention of the SC to the fact that they do not have the right to determine its Standing Orders.
Is it really the case that the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction in determining the constitutionality of Parliament’s Standing Orders? I have my doubts. If the Supreme Court can annul laws made by parliament, why not it’s Standing Orders? Parliament can never be said to be an ABSOLUTE as the Minority will want us to believe.
Furthermore, the nomination and approval of Hon. Doe Adjaho as 5th Speaker of Parliament of the Fourth Republic, whom at the time of his nomination was a member of parliament, should give us an idea why it will be gross abuse of the right of the people of the constituencies the deputy speakers represent. Hon.
Doe Adjaho resigned as an MP and a new representative was elected to represent that constituency (Avenor-Ave). Why should a people lose representation in deciding an important national issue because of an absentee Speaker of Parliament? Should presiding in place of the main speaker be a punishment for the people they represent?
It is my suggestion that the standing Orders is amended to elect Deputy Speakers from outside of parliament even though the SC has made its ruling. How do we fight for representation for SALL when we see nothing wrong with denying representation to people who already have elected members of parliament?
From the position of the Minority, it is obvious they do not envision parliament to be split as we have it now.
But looking at the way Ghanaians are voting now, everything is possible. Should we not be finding solutions to the problem to prevent future occurrences rather than, as usual, doing politics with national issues?
What will have been the minority’s position if roles were reversed? The majority will be acting as the minority is doing now so my only wish is to let the national interest supersede that of party interest.
I am glad parliament has taken the steps in reviewing its own Standing Orders. It is my hope that they do a time tested review that the new Standing Orders will last the test of time. This is how democracies are nurtured and developed.
Mr. Clement Acheampong: Political Analyst /Lecturer