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Privileges Committee to begin sittings on 3 absentee MPs’ case today

The Privileges Committee of Parliament will later today, May 26, 2022, begin sittings in relation to the matter of absentee MPs in the house.

The Speaker made a referral to the Committee after it emerged that 3 MPs had absented themselves for more than the 15 days acceptable threshold without permission.

The Committee has two weeks to present a report to the House.

The MPs concerned are Ayawaso Central MP, Henry Quartey, Dome Kwabenya MP, Sarah Adwoa Safo, and MP for Assin Central, Kennedy Ohene Agyepong.

The Ranking Member on the Privileges Committee, Kweku Rickets Hagan said the hearings will not be held in public.

“We are going to hear all of them out before we put the report together. The report will be comprehensive. The sittings, however, will not be made public.”

A former Member of Parliament for Kumbumgu Constituency, Ras Mubarak, petitioned the Speaker of Parliament to deal with the matter of absenteeism in the House.

He cited Dome-Kwabenya MP, Sarah Adwoa Safo; Henry Quartey, the MP for Ayawaso Central, and Ebenezer Kojo Kum, the MP for Ahanta West and Ken Ohene Agyapong, MP for Assin Central as MPs who he said had flouted provisions of Article 97(1)(c) of the Constitution and Parliament’s Standing Order 16(1) which frowns on Members absenting themselves for 15 sitting days without permission from the Speaker.

Per Article 97(1)(c) of the 1992 Constitution, a Member of Parliament shall vacate his seat “if he is absent, without the permission in writing of the Speaker, and he is unable to offer a reasonable explanation to the Parliamentary Committee on Privileges from fifteen sittings of a meeting of Parliament during any period that Parliament has been summoned to meet and continues to meet.”

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