The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has described the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s comments on the Supreme Court ruling on the Deputy Speakers, as unfortunate and myopic.
Alban Bagbin described the Supreme Court ruling as one that is not only an absurdity but a reckless incursion into the remit of Parliament.
Commenting on the recent ruling, the Speaker averred that he earlier was not going to speak on the happenings but was however compelled to, following the President’s comment supporting the ruling. “I have resisted the temptation of making a comment on the judgment of the Supreme Court on the issue of the voting rights of Deputy Speakers when presiding.”
According to the Speaker of Parliament, the trend of unanimity is equally troubling and does not help explore and expand the nation’s legal jurisprudence. He stated that despite the President’s comment being myopic and unfortunate, it also goes on to worsen the schism between the Executive and Parliament.
Alban Bagbin noted that the impartiality of the Speaker, Deputy Speaker or Presiding Officer has been treasured and fought for by the country throughout its democratic development. He notified the President that due to the efforts put in to maintain the impartiality, the issue being discussed is not about Parliament being above the law.
“Everyone knows that Parliament is not above the law. The Executive and the Judiciary are equally not above the law. The issue being discussed is the political question doctrine. It took centuries to detail out the strands of this doctrine and the principles are settled as to when and how this closed book could be opened.”Alban Bagbin
Speaker Alban Bagbin suggested to the Plaintiff in the case to go for a review on the ruling that has been declared.
Alban Bagbins’s comments followed President Akufo-Addo rubbishing claims that the Supreme Court had no powers to pronounce judgement on such an issue that concerns Parliament. The President insisted that all organs of the state including he, President Akufo-Addo, as the head of the Executive, are subject to the constitution.
“There is nobody or organ in the Ghanaian state that is above the laws of the land. To suggest that Parliament should operate without interference is to advocate for the very matter we have tried to avoid, the concentration of power. We have had that experience before and don’t want that.”President Akufo-Addo
S.C Ruling an unfortunate interpretation for convenience
Earlier, Former President, John Dramani Mahama, commented that the ruling was shocking but not surprising. He indicated that the ruling is an unfortunate interpretation for convenience that sets a dangerous precedent of judicial interference in Parliamentary procedure for the future.
According to him, “If Deputy Speakers, because they are Members of Parliament, can vote while presiding as Speaker, they could as well be able to participate in any debate on the floor over which they are presiding. This is the absurdity into which the Supreme Court ruling leads us.”