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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Joe Wise’s conduct a legal absurdity

Professor Ransford Gyampo

Majority MPs approve 2022 budget statement

Minority ready’s itself for “interesting times ahead”

Parliament reconvenes today

Political Science lecturer at the University of Ghana, Professor Ransford Gyampo, has stated that the conduct of the first deputy speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu, during Tuesday’s Parliamentary proceedings is a legal absurdity.

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Joseph Osei Owusu, who was presiding as Speaker in the absence of Alban Bagbin, counted himself as the 138th member of parliament to add up to the 137 MPs in the chamber to constitute a quorum to take a decision per Article 104 of the Constitution.

In a Facebook post, Professor Gyampo mentioned that it was wrong for the acting Speaker, who is expected to be impartial, to have descended to add himself to the majority numbers.

“A reading of article 104 with its SPIRIT and perusal of the works of Erskine May, the man referred to as the Bible of Parliamentary Procedures renders what Joe Wise did a legal absurdity. You cannot be an impartial speaker, come down to be counted as a partial member to help constitute a majority and go up again to serve as Speaker and insist that you never voted. The issue isn’t about voting. The issue is about a Speaker being counted as partisan member,” he said in the post on Wednesday, December 1, 2021.

The conduct of the first deputy speaker has since sparked controversy.

The Minority, through its leader Haruna Iddrisu, described the actions of the first deputy speaker during the parliamentary sitting on Tuesday as disappointing.

“The majority say they respect the constitution and the standing orders of the House, today I am particularly disappointed in the conduct of the First Deputy Speaker, having to include himself and to exercise himself in order to meet their mandatory defined 138, without recourse or respect to the standing orders and the 1992 constitution. Standing order 109 is on voting,” he said at a press conference moments after Majority MPs approved the budget.

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