Speaker’s summoning is to correct wrongs – Kwarteng to MPs

Kwaku Kwarteng, the Chairperson of the Finance Committee of Parliament, has urged his colleagues to respect the referral of some Members of Parliament (MPs) to the Privileges Committee.

He explained that it was the only means through which some mistakes could be corrected and indicated that “the summons of AdwoaSafo, Henry Quartey and Kennedy Agyapong is right time for the House to take actions to reduce the high rate of absenteeism among MPs”.

According to him, inasmuch as there appeared to be politicisation of the issue, legislators must first consider importance and positive impacts it may have on their duties and Parliament should not have waited for it to become politically advantageous to uphold provisions that have been captured in the 1992 Constitution and Standing Orders.

“We should look upon this as an opportunity to correct what has been done wrongly in the past, I am the Chairman of a committee that sits quite often, I also have concerns about attendance even at my committee, I see that on the floor of the House and I am left in no doubt something has to be done to correct this.

“It cannot go on forever, current dynamics in Parliament, in respect of those who have been referred to the Privileges Committee, are coming out of certain political desire to gain numbers advantage but we also risk downplaying the rules,” Mr Kwarteng pointed out.

The Majority and Minority sides of Parliament have expressed diverse views over the referral of the MPs, which some of them claim is a scheme targeted at Adowa Safo, MP for Dome-Kwabenya Constituency in the Greater Accra Region.

Alhaji Mohammed- Mubarak Muntaka, the Minority Chief Whip, had stated Ms Safo was being treated unfairly by both the Speaker, Alban Bagbin and the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu in relation to her referral to the Privileges Committee and contended the MP had undertaken due processes to seek leave of absence from Mr Bagbin before leaving the country for the United States of America to handle some personal issues.

However, Mr Kwarteng, the MP for Obuasi West Constituency in the Ashanti Region, appealed to his colleagues to respect provisions in the Constitution and Standing Orders of Parliament and support and assist the Speaker to deal with the age-old issue of absenteeism. –

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