“The Deputy Speaker can be beaten if he attempts to vote, so there is still hope” – NDC’s Yayra Koku
There have been so many interpretations in the public domain concerning the judgment recently passed by the Supreme Court of the land on whether the deputy speakers of parliament can vote or not when they are presiding over a parliamentary session.
After the December 2020 elections, there was a tie in the number of parliamentarians making it difficult for a clear voting distinction to be achieved. This has given birth to so many hot debates in the parliament house in some cases resulting in ‘blows’.
Currently, the government wants to pass the E-Levy and therefore needs a clear majority to get the bill passed.
The Speaker of Parliament who is not a member of parliament is supposed to preside to allow the two deputy speakers to sit in the chamber and participate in all votings is not in the country at the moment so a deputy speaker is supposed to preside over the sessions.
Prior to this, an attempt by the first deputy speaker who was presiding over the debate on the acceptance of the 2022 Budget to vote resulted in chaos as the minority tried to prevent him from participating in the voting exercise. According to the minority, once he is presiding over a session, he can not at the same time participate in any voting exercise in the August house.
A group of Ghanaians however went to the Supreme Court to seek an interpretation of the constitution on whether a Deputy Speaker of Parliament who is also a Member of Parliament has the right to vote whiles presiding over the parliament or not.
The Supreme Court ruled that Deputy Speakers of our parliament who have duly been voted by their people and so have the right to vote in all parliamentary proceedings.
This pronouncement didn’t go well with some Ghanaians especially the minority opposition party mainly the NDC. Former President and the 2020 Presidential Candidate for NDC, Mr. John Mahama took to his Facebook page and wrote “A unanimous 7-0? Shocking but not surprising. An unfortunate interpretation for convenience that sets a dangerous precedent of judicial interference in Parliamentary procedure for the future.”
This comment has created mixed reactions and it is under which Yayra Koku, a member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) also commented that; “Your Excellency, trust me, they can rule that Akufo Addo is a FEMALE if that will favour the government. The good news is that they didn’t rule that the Deputy Speaker can’t be beaten if he attempts to vote, so there is still hope.”
He believes that although the Supreme Court judges have ruled that a deputy speaker can vote in any parliamentary elections, he (the deputy speaker) is not prevented from being beaten should he make any attempt to participate in any parliamentary votings.