Parliaments adjourns sitting sine die

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, says he cannot fathom why a member entrusted with mandate of representation would stay away from the business of the House.

“I find it very difficult to understand why honorable members of this August House will decide to stay away from the business of the House for days without permission.

“I do not understand why MPs will refuse to participate in very important businesses of the House,” Mr Bagbin stressed.

He made this remark on Tuesday in a statement read on his behalf by the Second Deputy Speaker, Andrew Asiamah Amoako, to adjourn the House sine die; bringing to an end the first meeting of the second session of the eighth parliament.

The Speaker of Parliament’s reservations followed the referral of three Members to the Privilege Committee of the House for absenting themselves for more than 15 sittings without permission in violation of Article 97(1) (c) of the 1992 Constitution.

They are Assin Central Member, Kennedy Agyapong, Sarah Adwoa Safo, Dome Kwabenya and Ayawaso Central Member, Henry Quartey.

During the meeting, the House barely undertook any public business as it had to adjourn prematurely on several occasions for lack of quorum following the Supreme Court ruling which held that a Deputy Speaker can be counted to form a quorum and vote whilst presiding.

According to Mr Bagbin who was a seven-term MP for the Nadowli-Kaleo Constituency in the Upper West Region between January 1993 and January 2021, the phenomenon of absenteeism was affecting the business of the House.

“This tendency has led to a number of premature adjournments on several occasions and delayed decisions on issues that are essential to the country’s development and growth,” he told the legislative assembly.

Mr Bagbin revealed that he has himself called the attention of the House to how the unavailability of members was impacting the slow pace of the work of various committees and general business of the House.

“These must be taken seriously as they are important building blocks for national development” he said and urged members to be more prompt to the business of the House in the next meeting.

Minority Chief Whip and MP for Asawase, Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, in a statement on behalf of the Minority Leader commended members for the steadfastness to the duty of the House and asked members to take attendance to the House more seriously when it resumes.

The Deputy Majority Leader and Member for Effutu, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, giving an account of the meeting commended members for using parliamentary tools in resolving their disagreements unlike the rancourous third meeting of the firsts session in December 2021.

“I am confident that the second and third meetings of this session will offer a more coherent and mutually beneficial to both sides of the House,” he said.


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