The Deputy Minority Leader, Hon Dr James Klutse Avedzi has slammed the Majority group of parliament for setting an irredeemable precedent which would live to hunt them in the near future for illegally overturning the decision of parliament on Friday, November 26, 2021.
According to him, the decision that was taken on Tuesday, November 30, 2021, was illegal and totally out of order per both the 1992 Constitution and the Standing Orders of Parliament.
In a comment soon after the Majority group decision to overturn the November 26, decision with 137 with the First Deputy Speaker presiding and counting himself as a member, Dr Avedzi said that was unconstitutional and the precedent would jeopardize.
The Majority Group was totally wrong.
He writes, “Order 13(2) of the Standing Orders of Parliament of Ghana states; “Whenever the House if informed by the Clerk at the Table of the unavoidable absence of Mr Speaker, the First Deputy Speaker shall perform the duties and exercise the authority of Mr. Speaker in relation to all proceedings of the House until Mr. Speaker resumes the Chair, without any further communication to the House”.
“Order 109(2) states; “Mr. Speaker shall have neither an original nor a casting vote and if upon any question before the House the votes are equally divided the motion shall be lost”
“Order 109(3) also states; “A Deputy Speaker or any other Member presiding shall not retain his original vote while presiding”
The combined effects of all the above Standing Orders of Parliament of Ghana means that the first Deputy Speaker who presided over today’s sitting of Parliament of Ghana cannot retain his original votes.
“109(1) states; “No Question for decision in the House shall be proposed for determination unless there are present in the House not less than one-half of all the Members of the House, and, except otherwise provided in the Constitution, the Question proposed shall be determined by the majority of the votes of the Members present and voting.
“The first Deputy Speaker having assumed the duties of Mr. Speaker and presided over the sitting of the house therefore means that he did not retain his original vote and was not present and voting as a member as per Order 109(3). If you cannot vote, you cannot present yourself as ‘present and voting’.
“Since he is not present and voting because he cannot vote by the fact that he presided over the sitting of the house, he can’t be counted to determine whether the members present and voting are at least one-half of all members of Parliament.
“The total number of members present and voted for the purported approval of the 2022 budget was therefore 137 which was less than the one-half of all members of Parliament.
“If the majority group argued that the rejection of the budget on Friday 26th November 2021 was illegal because parliament didn’t have the required number of members present and voting for which reason they took another vote today, they are equally guilty of the same illegality.
Their action should therefore be nullified.
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