Supreme Court ruling cause of stalemate in Parliament – Speaker 

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has stated that the ruling of the Supreme Court on quorum, and the voting right of a deputy speaker is the cause of the stalement in the House lately. 

In the view of Mr Bagbin, as people who would be affected by the decision of the Court, Parliament should have been consulted before the ruling. 

“The law lords who ruled earlier on, that the law and custom of Parliament is unknown to the court…is a very wise decision because our conventions, practices, customs are all not captured in a book but known by the House and we follow them. 

“So these things are happening because of the recent judgement of the Supreme Court and that is a good reason why I have asked for a review. 

“Before my arrival [from medical leave], there were a lot of issues of quorum and the House had to be adjourned a number of times because of the interpretation and our understanding of quorum as stated in the judgement of the Supreme Court. 

“As people who were going to be affected by that ruling, Parliament should have been given notice for us to state our understanding of the law. We did not get that opportunity.”

In one of the determined cases which affected procedure of Parliament, “we had notice but in the case of Justice Abdulai versus Attorney-General. We had no notice of it and we didn’t know about it,” the Speaker of Parliament said. 

Mr Bagbin made this observation yesterday following complaints by the Minority about errors in the votes and proceedings of Tuesday 29, March, 2022; the day the Electronic Transfer Levy Bill was passed. 

Though the Minority said all but one of its 137 members were present on the floor during the debate on the motion to approve the report of the Finance Committee which recommended the passage of the bill, the votes and proceedings reported on Wednesday March 30, that eight of the Minority Members were absent without permission. 

The votes and proceedings sighted by the Ghanaian Times also did not capture the walkout of the Minority; a development the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu said was deliberately orchestrated to deny generations of true records of what happened in the House on that day.

“[The Majority caucus’] walkout [during the budget approval debate on November 27] was recorded and put in the votes and proceedings as is required of you (the Clerk) under Standing Order 59.

“We can also not accept this confidence that only minority caucus members were those that were marked absent.

“If we walk out and it is not noticed, we are demanding an explanation from the Clerk and Clerk at Table, circumstances why our walkout was not recorded,” Mr Iddrisu, MP, Tamale South demanded. 

The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, sympathising with the members who were wrongly reported to have absented themselves for the political ramifications, said errors had always been reported in the votes and proceedings and that no spin should be put on Tuesday’s.  

To single out the Clerk, Cyril Nsiah, alone for bashing when the document was jointly signed by him and the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said was unfair as he ruled out any deliberate attempt to misreport events of the day. 

“If two people co-author a document, how do you single out one to say that he is responsible for any lapses and leave the other person out? The Speaker has ultimate responsibility for the votes and proceedings so why do you leave him out and attack the Clerk?”

The Suame lawmaker said provisions that had been made to deal with challenges like errors in the votes and proceedings should be triggered instead of finding who did what deliberately or unknowingly. 

To this end, Mr Bagbin directed that the votes and proceedings reflected events of the day. 


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