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Only Speaker Takes Oath of Office….Period! – Ben Aryeh Silences Opposition | Politics



Aspiring Central Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Ben Aryeh has thrown his weight behind the Supreme Court ruling regarding the voting right of Deputy Speaker acting in lieu of the Speaker of Parliament.

The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, March 9, 2022, settled this contentious issue as a seven member panel unanimously ruled that a Deputy Speaker can partake in the voting in Parliament.

The verdict was made to bring a finality to the dispute about whether or not the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, when sitting in for the Speaker, can also exercise his right to vote as a Member of Parliament.

This contentious matter before the House resulted in the members on both sides trading blows when the Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu, acting as Speaker, in November last year decided to hand over to the Second Deputy Speaker in order to join a quorum and cast his vote on the 2022 budget by the Akufo-Addo government.

The verdict said “Deputy Speaker is entitled to be counted as a member of Parliament for quorum” and can also “vote and take part in the decision of parliament”.

However, some critics and members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) have registered their displeasure with the court ruling.

They have described the ruling as a travesty of justice.

Dissenting Views

Former President John Mahama described the ruling as “shocking but not surprising” and dreaded the Apex Court is setting a “dangerous precedent of judicial interference in Parliamentary procedure for the future”.

Also Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram, Sam Nartey George calls it a sham, tweeting “the sham called Justice delivery in our Republic. Despicable!”

Seasoned journalist Kwesi Pratt also backs the critics stressing the constitution gives every Ghanaian the right to comment on their ruling.

”The Supreme Court is not a divine institution. Supreme Court is a creation of the constitution. The constitution also gives us the right to review its provisions. We can even rewrite the constitution. The people of Ghana, the sovereign people of Ghana, they are the ultimate decision makers in everything including judicial matters. In fact, the continued existence of the Supreme Court is subject to the will of the sovereign people of Ghana”, he said on Peace FM’s morning show ”Kokrokoo” on Friday, March 11.

President Akufo-Addo’s Take

The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo also sharing his thoughts on the ruling asserted that should the Deputy Speaker be ”denied the right to vote, [it will mean] it is tantamount to denying the right of the people you represent to have a say in the decision of the Assembly. That will not be right. So, I couldn’t understand all this furore and controversy artificially generated”.

”I’m astonished about how much public energy has been wasted, I say so with the greatest of respect, been wasted in an area on an issue where there is so much clarity and I’m happy that the court…the Supreme Court, when it is declaring the meaning of the constitution and it does so unanimously. That is the most emphatic way in which the court can pronounce!”, he added.

Only Speaker Takes Oath

Contributing to the Friday edition of Kokrokoo, Ben Aryeh shared similar sentiments with the President over the brouhaha surrounding the Supreme Court verdict.

Speaking to host Kwami Sefa Kayi, Hon. Ben Aryeh explained that the oath of the Speaker of Parliament is taken by only the person elected by the House as the substantive Speaker, therefore any other person who sits in for him is never the Speaker but rather acting in his stead.

This, he expounded, is a proof that the Deputy Speakers remain Members of Parliament even when acting as Speaker, so have the right to vote in the House.

”We have a Speaker who takes an oath as the Speaker. He is the only person who takes such oath. All other members of the House swear the oath of Members of Parliament including those who, temporarily, assume the role of the Speaker. When they assume that role, they don’t swear any oath as the Speaker. That is why they don’t retire on their Speaker’s benefit or like the Speaker who retires on his salary and what have you. The Members of Parliament who act as Deputies are treated as Members of Parliament and that is it”, he affirmed.

He also cautioned Parliamentarians speaking against the ruling to desist from it, stressing ”that House is an honorable House…So, they who have got the opportunity to serve in that House should accord that respect, dignity to that House”.

Source: Ameyaw Adu Gyamfi/



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Abantu Urges Parliament To Pass Affirmative Action Bill | Politics



Parliament must place premium on the passage of the Gender Equality Law, otherwise known as Affirmative Action Bill, into law.

According to Abantu for Development, a non-governmental organisation, the delay in passing the bill, which was drafted 11 years ago, had contributed in very substantial ways to the country’s inability to secure comprehensive and improved conditions for the majority of citizens, especially women.

“Ghana needs an Affirmative Action Law that will promote total inclusiveness, political pluralism, genuine democracy and good governance,” the Resource Mobilisation and Sustainability Manager of Abantu, Hamida Harrison, said.

She spoke at a media dialogue in Accra on the role of the media in reinforcing advocacy for the passage of Ghana’s Affirmative Action Bill into law.

Ms Harrison said the political parties in the country saw the bill as a threat to power and power sharing, hence the deliberate delays by various governments in passing it.

“Ghana has completed the draft bill that has been awaiting submission to Parliament for a considerable time now. Anytime we ask about it, we are told it is with Cabinet. What is holding it there?” she quizzed.

Ms Harrison stated that Parliament had listed the bill three times as one of the items to be discussed but that never materialised.

“The question of government sitting on the bill is very critical to the mainstreaming of women into positions of leadership, which is unacceptable to all of us,” she stated.

Failure of political parties

Ms Harrison pointed out that in both the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) regimes, women had failed to make the equality mark in elections and appointments to positions of leadership in government.

“It is not one political party that has failed the women of this country but all. All these parties have not been very fair, faithful and accountable to the promises they made to women. The late Prof. John Evans Atta Mills promised before becoming President that 40 per cent of his government appointees would be women, but that never materialised. The highest was 21 per cent.

“We remember in the first presidential address of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, he said affirmative action was his priority, but here we are today, almost ending his second term and nothing has happened,” she stated.

Ms Harrison said from national to local and institutional levels, the number of appointments and nominations of women historically was failing to address the magnitude of gender inequality.

Quoting figures to buttress her point, she said out of the current 261 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs), only 38 were women, increasing the number by only two from the first term of President Akufo-Addo.

Role of media

Ms Harrison called on the media to play a pivotal role in educating, shaping public opinion, setting the agenda, as well as influencing the government to push the bill to Parliament for it to be passed.

Media practitioners who spoke, called on civil society organisations to be aggressive in their approach in getting the bill passed.





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We Can’t Progress With Our Kind Of Politics – Most Rev. Kwasi Sarpong | Politics



The Metropolitan Archbishop Emeritus of the Kumasi Catholic Archdiocese, the Most Rev. Dr Peter K. Sarpong, has said the country cannot progress with the kind of politics being practiced.

He said if leaders would agree to serve rather than be served, society would be a better place.

“Without such leadership, there is no way the country can get rid of bribery and corruption, embezzlement of state resources, political arrogance, appropriation of undeserved power and sheer wickedness, intimidation, greed, ethnocentrism; in short, wicked Godlessness,” he added.

The Most Rev. Dr Sarpong was speaking at this year’s Ephraim Amu Memorial Lecture in Accra on the topic: “The performing arts, morality and the Ghanaian identity”.

The lecture series was instituted by the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences in honour of the composer, songwriter and social activist, Ephraim Amu.

It featured musical interludes and performances inspired by the works of Amu.


The Most Rev. Dr Sarpong said at a time when even the judicial system appeared to be churning out some injustices, “a time when we appear to look down on the Biblical injunction that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, we need the performing arts to communicate to us the true and abiding principles of life of the Ghanaian that has ennobled him all this while”.

He also said in a world where arrogance, greed and selfishness had taken over, the performing arts reminded the people who they were and the need to uphold their cherished values.

“In a world of crude individualism, arrogance, greed, avarice and selfishness, we need the performing arts constantly to remind us that the Ghanaian is by nature gentle, hospitable, friendly, forgiving, compassionate, self-respecting and welcoming.

“At a time when we seem to have no respect for symbolism, we need the performing arts to drill into our skulls the powerful message that life is not banal but full of meaning, albeit sometimes cryptic,” the Most Rev. Dr Sarpong added.

Source: Graphiconline



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