The First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu, has welcomed the ruling of the Supreme Court declaring that Deputy Speakers of Parliament do not lose their voting right whiles presiding on proceedings in the chamber.
Describing the ruling as “refreshing”, he said he will continue to interpret the constitution and the standing orders of Parliament as he understands it.
“Matters that have never arisen, are now on the fore due to the numbers we have in parliament. Anytime there is disagreement, as I have said before, I will interpret the rules and the laws as I understand it.”
According to him, those who hold contrary views to his rulings can always seek redress at the appropriate forum.
“I encourage those who disagree with me to boldly state their position or refer it to the appropriate body like the Supreme Court to guide us. As of now, at the end of it all, we are being guided. What has not happened before where the way was not clearly stated by our standing orders has now been cleared by the Supreme Court, and I think it will help us in our democracy and practice going forward.”
Speaking to the press after the Supreme Court judgment which many describe as an affirmation of his decision, Joseph Osei Owusu described the judgment of the apex court as refreshing.
“I’m glad that the decision practically affirms the position I took. There is still some misinterpretation as to whether I participated in the vote itself on the night of the 30th or not. Anyone who saw the video will attest to the fact that it was a voice vote and I didn’t participate in it, however, I insisted that I be counted as a Member of Parliament present to constitute the quorum before a decision was taken. Indeed, this decision affirms that position I took, and I find that refreshing.”
The deputy speaker of parliament has been in the news over his insistence to be counted as a Member of Parliament before a decision is taken on the E-Levy while he was presiding in the absence of the Rt.Honorable Speaker, Alban Bagbin.
This act of his saw the minority frowning against it saying he cannot rule if he is presiding, however insisted he has the right to as it is his obligation to his constituents.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday afternoon ruled unanimously in affirmation to the fact that anyone who’s a member of parliament and a Deputy Speaker, can vote.