Privileges Committee will debate the mechanisms for the case of three absentee MPs today

The Parliamentary Privileges Committee will meet later today, May 25, 2022, to establish the arrangements for its sittings in the case of three absentee MPs.

The Committee has two weeks to deliver a report to the House on the Speaker’s referral of Dome Kwabenya MP, Sarah Adwoa Safo, Ayawaso Central MP Henry Quartey, and Assin Central MP Kennedy Agyapong for being absent from Parliament without permission for more than fifteen days.

Kweku Ricketts Hagan, the Committee’s Ranking Member, summarized the Committee’s actions as follows:

“We will meet with Henry Quartey on the 26th of May, Adwoa Safo on the 27th of May, and Kennedy Agyapong on the 31st of May.” The modalities will be discussed at today’s conference.”

Ras Mubarak, a former Member of Parliament for the Kumbumgu Constituency, petitioned the Speaker of Parliament to address the issue of absence in Parliament.

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He named Sarah Adwoa Safo, the MP for Dome-Kwabenya, Henry Quartey, the MP for Ayawaso Central, Ebenezer Kojo Kum, the MP for Ahanta West, and Ken Ohene Agyapong, the MP for Assin Central as MPs who he claimed had broken the provisions of Article 97(1)(c) of the Constitution and Parliament’s Standing Order 16(1), which prohibits Members from missing 15 sitting days

According to Article 97(1)(c) of the 1992 Constitution, a Member of Parliament must vacate his seat “if he is absent from fifteen sittings of a meeting of Parliament without the permission in writing of the Speaker, and he is unable to provide a reasonable explanation to the Parliamentary Committee on Privileges during any period that Parliament has been summoned to meet and continues to meet.”

The petition was forwarded to the House leadership on both parties. According to the Hansard of Parliament, four New Patriotic Party (NPP) MPs have broken the rule on absenteeism and should be brought before the House Privileges Committee.

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