Mr Ras Mubarak, former Member of Parliament (MP) for Kumbungu, has petitioned the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban Bagbin, to refer four MPs to the Privileges Committee for breaking the rules of the house on absenteeism.
Mr Mubarak in his petition cited Madam Sarah Adwoa Safo, MP for Dome-Kwabenya; Mr Henry Quartey, MP for Ayawaso Central; Mr Ebenezer Kojo Kum, MP for Ahanta West and Mr Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, MP for Assin Central, as MPs who had absented themselves from Parliament for more than fifteen sittings without the Speaker’s permission.
According to him, their conduct required immediate action as it breached Constitutional Provisions and Standing Orders of Parliament.
“It has come to my notice through parliament’s Hansard, newspaper and radio report that four Members of Parliament have all absented themselves from Parliament for more than fifteen sittings of a meeting of Parliament without the permission of Mr Speaker in writing.
"Given 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,” segments of the petition said.
The petition comes following concerns over Madam Safo’s absence from Parliament.
It is reported that Madam Safo’s last appearance in Parliament was in December 2021.
However, the Minority Caucus alleges that "she had been impersonated to enable the majority to secure the right numbers to vote on the contentious Electronic Transaction Levy."
Mr Mubarak explained that the petition was necessary to regain the public’s confidence in Parliament.
He has therefore indicated the hope that Parliament would unite to support his petition.
“I humbly submit that democracy can only work if Parliament puts the common good ahead of the party and personal interest.
"At a time of seeming collapse of trust in politics and Parliament as an institution, it is my fervent prayer that the House would rise to the occasion and be united on this matter, to uphold our constitution and also win back waned public confidence," the petition said.
Speaker of Parliament, Mr Bagbin, has dismissed media reports suggesting he permitted Madam Safo to be absent from parliamentary proceedings on health grounds.
“It’s important I diffuse some fake news, which is being circulated that I granted an interview to say that Adwoa Safo received permission from me to absent herself from Parliament on health grounds.
"I want it to be known by all; that I have not granted any such interview anywhere. I have not said anything like that anywhere," he said on the floor of Parliament.
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