The Supreme Court has finally dealt with the vexing matter of the right of a Deputy Speaker to represent his constituency, while in his seat as Speaker of the day.
In a unanimous ruling, following an application for a review of its earlier judgment, Supreme Court ruled that the review application lacked merit. This brings finality to the issue of whether or not Deputy Speakers of Parliament are entitled to vote while presiding over the business of the House.
The applicant, Justice Abdulai, responding to the verdict, stated that while he disagreed with the review ruling, he believed Ghana must accept the verdict and live with it.
As a responsible citizen and lawyer, he had, since initiating this constitutional conversation through the courts, remained measured and calculated, seeking the best interest and development of the rule of law in Ghana, and how that impacts good governance and political stability.
This has been evidenced in his relations with the media since he took all stakeholders by storm in filing the application for a determination after Parliament, apparently stuck in the mud over its own rules, delayed a full quarter on an important function that has to do with development in constituencies that are in the country.
For some intriguing reasons, the National Democratic Congress, particularly since it lost the 2020 general elections, has been ‘flooding’ the courts with cases that most Ghanaians consider frivolous – even ridiculous – like the last flagbearer asking the Supreme Court to declare that none of the candidates won the 2020 presidential elections.
Nobody is arguing that going to court is a sin, or a privilege belonging only to those on the side of government. That is why the NDC and, for that matter, its high-profile ‘Three Musketeers’ are pushing for determination by the Supreme Court that the passage of the E-Levy Bill was illegal and that it cannot be implemented under the circumstances.
Whatever strategies the NDC as political party may have up its sleeves, we believe that with the affirmed ruling that the challenge for a review lacked merit, we may all go back a new beginning, with Parliament looking more at the contingencies of the times in putting Ghana first.
Already, its noble ‘flagbearer’ admits that as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, African economies are in dire straits, demanding the quality of leadership that our Executive, Judiciary and Legislature must provide in showing in practical terms, through a fair mix of job creation and social protection initiatives.
Being truly Ghanaian
It is in that regard that Parliament must stand united in working with the Executive and Judiciary, with the people in our constituencies and communities in mind, and feeling the impact of their being in Parliament in tangible terms.
These are ordinary citizens, over 85 percent of them in the informal economy and over 40 in our threatened food security sector. That certainly calls for a more concerted, instead of polarized, effort, in thinking through policies and programmes to turn our economy around.
That is why the conversation should be about the Ghanaian, and how Parliament is facilitating their wellbeing through creation of jobs, rolling out of social protection initiatives and infrastructural development that promotes productivity and fast movement with equally vibrant returns on our collective economic efforts.
This is imperative as some of them chase their gratuities and other perks, including free medical treatment abroad, even when some among the Minority are failing to understand that it takes an effective tax scheme to put all of those resources in place, both for the citizen and the legislator.