The Minority should rather be happy over recommendations on Adwoa Safo but… – Draman

The Minority in Parliament,
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The reality of the hung parliament in Ghana at the moment is playing out in the face of Ghanaians following the issues involving Dome-Kwabenya Member of Parliament (MP) Sarah Adwoa Safo, the Executive Director of the African Center for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA), Dr Rasheed Draman, has said.

Adwoa Safo and two other New Patriotic Party (NPP) Members of Parliament – Kennedy Agyapong, MP for Assin Central, Henry Quartey Ayawaso Central were hauled before the Privilege’s Committee for absenting themselves from Parliament without permission.

This was after the Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin received a petition against them from Former Kumbungu lawmaker Ras Mubarak.

The Committee accordingly met Ken Agyapong and Henry Quartey however, could not meet Adwoa Safo who has been out of the country for over a year now.

In its conclusion, the Committee, by a majority decision, decided that “Hon Kennedy Ohene Agyapong and Hon Henry Quartey admitted having absented themselves for more than the fifteen Sittings threshold.

“However, the explanations given by Hon Kennedy Ohene Agyapong and Hon Henry Quartey for being absent were found reasonable. With regards to Hon Sarah Adwoa Safo, in spite of all the efforts made to invite her to attend upon the Committee, the Hon Member did not appear before the Committee to provide the reasons for her absence from the House without written permission for more than the fifteen Sittings threshold.

“By the provisions of Article 97 (1) (c) of the 1992 Constitution, the onus is on Hon Sarah Adwoa Safo to provide a reasonable explanation to the Privileges Committee why she shall not vacate her Seat, for having absented herself for forty-two (42) Sittings, during the period under consideration.

“The Minority Members on the Committee concede that reasonable efforts were made to get Hon Sarah Adwoa Safo to appear before the Committee, however, the Minority Members are of the view that, the lack of response of Hon Sarah Adwoa Safo to the numerous invitations of the Committee should be reported to the House without any conclusions.

“The above notwithstanding, the Majority, was of the view that, Hon Sarah Adwoa Safo failed to take advantage of the numerous opportunities and facilities offered her to provide reasonable explanation to the Committee with regard to her absence without leave. Therefore, pursuant to Article 97 (1) (c) of the 1992 Constitution and the Court of Appeal decision in the case of Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare v the Attorney General & 3 Ors, the Dome-Kwabenya should be declared vacant.”

Speaking on this matter on the Ghana Tonight Show with Alfred Ocansey on TV3 Tuesday, July 27, Dr Draman said “On the face of it, one would have thought that the NDC will be happy about the position of the Majority side because that is going to reduce, in the time being, the numbers of the Majority, then hopefully, if they put up a very good competition that might be a chance for them to tilt the balance.

“On the face of it, but the more you think about it and the posture being taken by the Minority side, you begin to realize that the realties of the hung parliament are playing out right in our faces.

“At this point in time, when I analyze the situation, I believe every decision that is taken in the House now is looked at, at the balance of power perspective.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana

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