Former Member of Parliament for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarak, who petitioned the Speaker, Alban Bagbin, against the three New Patriotic Party (NPP) Members of Parliament for absenting themselves, has welcomed the decision by the Speaker to refer them to the Privileges’ Committee.
According to him, this will send signals to all lawmakers and others that the days of MPs absenting themselves from Parliament without permission, are over.
He told TV3’s Komla Adom on the mid day news on Tuesday April 5 that “I expect that the Privilege’s Committee will do a good job without fear or favour, it will not be partisan, it will make appropriate recommendations.”
He added that “it is a welcoming news even though a bit late, better late than never. we have to be upholding the constitution of the Republic. parliament should be seen at the forefront of championing upholding the rule of law. It is a good thing. It will send a strong signal that the days of absenting oneself from Parliament is over now.”
The three MPs are Kennedy Agyapong, Assin Central, Sarah Adwoa Safo, Dome Kwabenya and Henry Quartey, Ayawaso Central.
But during proceedings, National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Asawase contested the Speaker’s ruling and said if the decision is allowed to stand, it will set a dangerous precedence which can 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.
Ras Mubarak petitioned the Speaker to discipline these lawmakers for absenting themselves from Parliament for more than fifteen days.
In his petition, he said “It has come to my notice through parliament’s Hansard, and newspaper and radio reports that some four Members of Parliament, namely Hon. Sarah Adwoa Safo, MP for Dome-Kwabenya; Hon. Henry Quartey, MP for Ayawaso Central; Hon. Ebenezer Kojo Kum, MP for Ahanta West; and Hon. Ken Ohene Agyapong, MP for Assin Central have all absented themselves from Parliament for more
than fifteen sittings of a meeting of Parliament without the permission of Mr. Speaker in writing.
“In view of this reported breach of the constitutional provision, I respectfully petition your high office to direct for their conduct to be referred to the Privileges Committee for consideration and necessary action.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana