The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has criticized President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s remarks on the Supreme Court’s judgment that declared Deputy Speakers of having the capacity to vote while presiding.
The Speaker says he would have been mute on the judgment but for the “unfortunate and myopic” utterances by the President.
Nana Akufo-Addo has said, Parliament is not above the law and must respect the decision of the Supreme Court rubbished claims that the apex court had no powers to pronounce judgment on such an issue that concerns parliament.
“All organs of the state including me [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”, the President said.
But the Speaker in response has condemned the President’s position. He believes the view of the first gentleman creates disaffection between the Legislature and the Judiciary.
“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. But the unfortunate and myopic comments of the President has compelled me to let it out”, Alban Bagbin replied in a statement.
“Mr. President, 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”, he added.
The Speaker thus encouraged Plaintiff to go for a review.
Alban Bagbin has also described as absurd and reckless the judgment of the Supreme Court.
According to him, the fact that all members of the panel agreed with the position is worrying, as the decision constitutes an interference in the activities of the legislature.
Alban Bagbin, who has earlier indicated that a speaker presiding does not have a casting vote, said the court’s position on the matter “doesn’t help explore and expand our legal jurisprudence.”
“The SC decision is, to say the least, not only an absurdity but a reckless incursion into the remit of Parliament. The trend of unanimity is equally troubling. It doesn’t help explore and expand our legal jurisprudence,” he stated.