Declare seats of absentee MPs vacant… Parliament implored

Professor Kwaku Asare, an Accountant based in the United States, has implored the leadership of Parliament to declare seats of Members of Parliament (MPs) who have been absent for more than 15 days.

“The legislature must implement the 2018 Supreme Court ruling on absentee MPs that a lawmaker automatically vacates their seat after 15 continuous days of being absent from the House without permission, in accordance with article 97 of the 1992 constitution,” he postulated.

The nation was thrown into a series of discussions after Sarah Adwoa Safo, the MP for Dome-Kwabenya in the Greater Accra Region, was accused of blackmailing the government with a list of demands, including the Deputy Majority Leader post.

However, Ras Mubarak, the former MP for Kumbungu, disagreed and explained she must be given a hearing at the Privileges Committee of Parliament saying “my disagreement stems from constitutional provision which has to be determined by Privileges Committee of Parliament which has to deliberate on the issue and does not even have to come to plenary after deliberation”.

He said the committee would decide whether or not madam Safo was guilty and when that was done, it does not even go to the plenary.

Madam Safo was last seen in Parliament on December 2021, when she appeared in the House to dismiss claims by the Minority Caucusshe was impersonated and has since not returned to the Chamber, subsequently, the leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) admitted her absence is affecting the party and government business.

They also revealed triggering constitutional provision to remove her as MP and declare her seat vacant, however, the Minority in Parliament describedcontemplation to remove madam Safo from Parliament as “discriminatory and unprincipled attacks”.

The NDC MPs are also pushing for removal of two other NPP MPs – Kennedy Agyapong, for Assin Central in the Central Region, and Henry Quartey, for Ayawaso Central in the Greater Accra Region because they were absent without permission from the Speaker, Alban Bagbin, for 18 working days each.

Prof. Asare intimated that the Clerk of Parliamentmust immediately begin applying the law otherwise he would be in contempt of court if nothing is done at all. –

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