President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has stated that the unanimous decision taken by the Supreme Court in its ruling on the voting rights of Deputy Speakers, reflects the transparency of the 1992 Constitution.
According to President Akufo-Addo, he was surprised by the furors that was generated on whether or not Deputy Speakers of Parliament could vote, once they were presiding in the chamber.
Speaking to Daily Guide’s Charles Takyi Boadu on the sidelines of the Dubai Expo 2020 on Thursday, March, 10, 2022, stated that “as far as I can see it, and I think the Supreme Court has confirmed it, the matters involved in this are open and shut, they are black and white. There can be no dispute about the issues that the gentleman took to the Supreme Court.”
He indicated that Articles 102, 104 of the Constitution make it absolutely clear, “in black and white”, that the Deputy Speakers, when they are presiding have the right to participate in the vote of the Parliament.
“Indeed, and I believe that is part of the reasoning of the Court, all the Legislatures of the world, where the presiding person is a Member of the Legislature, like our Deputy Speakers are, like the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the United States of America or the President pro tempore of the Senate in the United States, or the Speaker of the British Parliament have the right to speak because they are Members of the Assembly,”
“Our Speaker is expressly not a Member of the Assembly, that is why he doesn’t have the right to vote. In fact, he really ought not to participate in the deliberations of the House, he is a referee making sure that the debate is conducted properly, or the orders of the House are complied with. That is his role. But he ought, strictly speaking, not to be part of the proceedings of the House. That is not the case with the Deputy Speakers, and that matter is transparent on the face of our Constitution” he explained.
Commenting on Constitutional matters, President Akufo-Addo noted his deliberate efforts, as much as possible, not to comment on constitutional issues in the country to avoid any impression that he has set himself up as some ‘rival Supreme Court because he is “very reluctant to do that, for that reason.”
The President explained further that the constitution was set up to be responsible for declaring the meaning of the constitution by way of interpreting and enforcing it.
“As a matter of good governance, it is better that the body which has been given this exclusive power is the one that is heard on constitutional issues, and that is the reason why I have not been open or vocal on constitutional matters. But I feel this one I should make some comments,” he indicated.