Dr Theo Acheampong, a policy analyst, has advocated decoupling of the Executive arm of government from the legislature as a solution to reducing the absenteeism of Members of Parliament (MPs).
He indicated that the constitutional requirement where the president had to make about 40 per cent of all his ministerial appointments from Parliament should be forgone for one where the president could choose whomever he wishes to fill a position.
“Due to the complication created by the current constitutional provision, most of the MPs who are ministers will be able to easily talk their way out of facing any sanctions from the Privilege Committee of Parliament,” Dr Acheampong asserted.
His comments come on the back of a list released by Odekro which shows about 30 MPs had absented themselves from the House beyond the constitutional threshold of 15 sitting days which is aside from Adwoa Safo and Henry Quartey, MPs for Dome Kwabenya and Ayawaso Central Constituencies both in the Greater Accra Region and Kennedy Agyapong, MP for Assin Central in the Central Region, who have already been dragged to the Privileges’ Committee of Parliament on same issues.
However, Mr Quartey and Mr Agyapong’s reasons of absenteeism due to ill-health was accepted by the Committee but Ms Safo, who is yet to meet the committee, has had her issue deferred till October.
According to Dr Acheampong, what should be considered was time for citizens to actually decouple the two provisions where ministers could actually be selected from wherever they want without necessary recourse to MPs because the number was about 40 per cent saying “if at any point we have 80 ministers and half of them are coming from Parliament, then it will be a challenge.
“But the fundamental point is, we need constitutional reforms since we spent more than $200million in 2010/2011, canvassed a lot of positions, literally threw away the 1000-page document as though the money did not matter, that is where we need to focus our attention on, Speaker of Parliament and Committee should crack the whip but processes have to be fair to give them avenue to explain themselves,” he suggested.