Absentee MPs: Minority wants Joewise to recuse himself from Committee

Bekwai MP Joseph Osei-Owusu is the First Deputy Speaker
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The Minority in Parliament wants the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu (Joewise) to recuse himself from the Privileges Committee of Parliament following the referral of three New Patriotic Party (NPP) lawmakers to the committee for absenting themselves without permission.

MP for Builsa South Dr Clement Apaak indicated that Josewise had made comments which compromise his neutrality hence, must step aside.

He told TV3’s Evelyn Tengmaa in interview that “Should that appeal to get the motion rescinded fail then there will also be the need to challenge the neutrality of the First Deputy Speaker who is the Chair of the Privileges Committee. He had made statements which seem to suggest that he had taken the position as far as the Honoruable Sarah Adwoa Safo is concerned.”

The Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin acted on a petition against the affected MPs, brought before him by a former Kumbungu lawmaker, Ras Mubarak.

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

His decision was however contested by National Democratic Congress (NDC) lawmaker for Asowase Muntaka Mubarak who said if the decision was allowed to stand, it would set a dangerous precedence which could be used by a “dictator speaker” in future to hurt lawmakers.

“If we allow this to stand it will become precedent, tomorrow it may hurt all of us,” he said.

But replying Muntaka’s submission, the Speaker stood by his decision to refer the MPs saying “You don’t want speaker to be a dictator but you are prepared to create room for committees to be dictators. When the committee decides then that is it.

“The matter is before the House, it is not just before the Committee. I can’t come and sit here to declare a seat vacant without following a procedure.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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