Vice President of IMANI Africa, Kofi Bentil, has asserted that Wednesday’s ruling of the Supreme Court that gave Deputy Speakers the right to vote and be counted when presiding over proceedings in Parliament, does not amount to interference in parliamentary practice.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show on Thursday, March 10, 2022, he said the Supreme Court serves as the final arbiter and has been clothed with jurisdiction to make pronouncements on matters which can be classified as unconstitutional, including matters involving Parliament.
“For those who are saying the Supreme Court is interfering in the processes of Parliament, they are missing the point.
The IMANI Africa Vice President explained that this is to prevent the House from abusing its powers. He argued that “though Parliament is a master of its own procedures, it cannot make a procedure that is unconstitutional [and] it’s the Supreme Court that determines whether something is unconstitutional or not,” he said.
According to him, “to say that you are the head of the house and so you wake up early and beat your children. Yes, you’re the head of your house, but you cannot choose to beat your kids every day. If you do that, the Police will come from outside your house and determine what to do in your own house,” he said.
Mr. Bentil’s comment follows criticisms against the Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling that affirmed Deputy Speakers’ capacity to cast a vote while presiding over proceedings of the House.
The Court presided over by Justice Jones Dotse, on Wednesday, March 9, 2022, ruled that a Deputy Speaker can be counted during the formation of a quorum for parliamentary decision-making and participate in voting while presiding over the parliamentary business.
Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu described the ruling as a travesty of parliamentary justice.
He further alleged that “this is a judicial support of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s E-Levy that he is labouring to pass,” he said.
The Minority Chief Whip in Parliament, Muntaka Mubarak also described the ruling by the Apex Court as an “attack on the legislature.”
Speaking on Top Story on Wednesday, Muntaka Mubarak decried the Supreme Court’s decision.
He noted that the Minority will within one month seek a review of the ruling by the Court.
Commenting on the outcome , Mr. Bentil stated that though he disagrees with the outcome of the ruling, the court’s ruling is not an interference with Parliamentary affairs.
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