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Gyampo: Appoint non-partisan Deputy Speakers

Ransford Gyampo on Ghana Card

Professor Ransford Gyampo

Professor Ransford Gyampo, an associate professor in the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana has called for a review of the constitution to ensure neutrality of Deputy Speakers of Parliament.

His suggestion follows Wednesday’s declaration by the Supreme Court that the two Deputy Speakers of Parliament can vote while presiding, a judgement the Minority has described as “a travesty of justice relating to parliamentary practice.”

Haruna Iddrisu, the opposition leader in Parliament said the ruling is an interference in parliamentary affairs.

However, Gyampo said the ruling should not be politicised.

“The Supreme Court ruling on the right of Deputy Speakers to vote while serving as speakers, must be interrogated dispassionately. Unfortunately, the partisan responses have not helped as they insinuate many things that do not help the quest to shore up the independence of the judiciary.

“Why should it be that every top NPP person likes the ruling while every top NDC hates it? Why can’t we have a middle way of objective thinking about the issue? Excessive partisan is indeed a serious affront to our God-given ability to think and analyse issues, with a view to promoting fairness and objectivity in our political discourse,” Gyampo posted on Facebook.

“A key question that must engage our mind is, what happens to debate if those expected to moderate it takes to one side via partisan voting? This question must be answered taking cognizance of the fact that deputy speakers must not necessarily lose their right to represent their constituents simply by moderating debates. Perhaps we may want to rethink our constitution by looking for deputy speakers who do not represent constituencies just like the Speaker.

“It must be noted that, per the doctrines of Checks and Balances as advocated by the French Political Thinker, Baron de Montesquieu, the courts have the right to review and rule on the activities of both the Executive and Legislature. So the court, in theory did no wrong in entertainment the matter brought before it and judging it.

“A key question that must engage our mind is, what happens to debate if those expected to moderate it takes to one side via partisan voting? This question must be answered taking cognizance of the fact that deputy speakers must not necessarily lose their right to represent their constituents simply by moderating debates. Perhaps we may want to rethink our constitution by looking for deputy speakers who do not represent constituencies just like the Speaker,” Gyampo added.

Fred Dzakpata

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