Broadcast journalist, Richard Dela Sky has filed two separate writs at the Supreme Court challenging the decision of the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Bagbin to allow 137 National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament to vote on the 2022 budget statement and economic policy of the Government of Ghana.
The second writ is also challenging the decision of the majority New Patriotic Party (NPP) to vote to rescind the rejection of the budget which was presided over by the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu, in the absence of NDC MPs and the Speaker.
One of the writs is seeking a declaration that per a true and proper interpretation of Article 104(1) of the 1992 Constitution, Parliament did not have the power to vote on the budget when there were less than half of MPs present as a result of the NPP MPs’ boycott.
There are divergent views on the rejection of the budget on one hand by 137 NDC MPs and on the other hand the reversal of the rejection by 138 NPP MPs including the Second Deputy Speaker.
Drama unfolded when the Minority NDC decided to stay out of the chamber as the Majority Caucus, the NPP approved the budget yesterday.
This has led the broadcast journalist to file two writs to challenge the decisions taken by both divides of Parliament citing constitutional breaches.
Regarding the rejection by the NDC MPs, the writ is seeking a declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 104(1) the Speaker shall, unless otherwise specified, ensure that at least half of MPs are present in Parliament at the time of determining of a specific matter.
It is seeking a declaration that the purported determination by the 137 NDC MPs out of a total of 275 MPs which rejected the budget on November 26, 2021, violates Article 104(1) of the 1992 Constitution.
Again, it is seeking an order to set aside the vote by the 137 NDC MPs which rejected the 2022 budget and economic policy of government.
On the other hand, the writ is challenging the decision of Mr. Osei Owusu to vote in the determination that led to the approval of the budget when he presided over the affairs in the absence of the Speaker.
It is seeking a declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Articles 95(1), 96(1), and 104(1), any time a Deputy Speaker or any other person presides over Parliament in the absence of the Speaker, that person forfeits the right to be counted as a part of the Members of Parliament present for the determination of a matter.
It is also seeking an order to set aside the decision of the 138 NPP MPs which approved the budget in the absence of the Speaker on November 30, 2021.