Professor Aaron Oquaye, a former Speaker of Parliament, has admitted that he could not deal with the issue of absenteeism among Members of Parliament (MPs) successfully during his tenure in the Seventh Parliament.
He explained that although he attempted to stamp his authority on absenteeism he could not succeed in that action.
“I admit that I was not successful in dealing with absenteeism within the lawmakers during my tenure as Speaker of Parliament even though I attempted to stamp my authority on the menace,” Prof. Oquaye bemoaned.
He indicated that regarding the issues involving Sarah Adwoa Safo, the MP for Dome-Kwabenya Constituency, Henry Quartey, MP for Ayawaso Central Constituency, both in the Greater Accra Region and Kennedy Agyapong, MP for Assin Central Constituency in the Central Region, who absented themselves from Parliament for more than 15 days, confessed that he did not really succeed in absenteeism.
“I must confess that one area which I did not really succeed in is absenteeism in the House, I did not succeed in tackling it and I did not succeed in tackling punctuality but I did it a while and stopped which was unfortunate and also I did not succeed in ensuring that there was even a record of how lawmakers voted.
“Members must vote in a certain direction, we had two former Members of Parliament contesting for president, who were John Dramani Mahama and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo unlike United States when Barack Obama’s record was brought out as a Senator but we do not have that in the country.
“It is also important to have these issues because you want to know for instance, if you want to be president, what is your record on women and your record on oil,” Prof. Oquaye pointed out.
He hinted there would be an era where the two sides would have no option but to rely solely on consensus building to get proceedings in Parliament regarding disagreements in the House so as to develop because there would be no alternative to consensus building in relation to the move by the Minority to vote out Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance.