Absenteeism: Bagbin’s ruling inconsistent – Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

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Member of Parliament for Suame and Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has disagreed with a ruling by the Speaker of Parliament on a report by the Privileges Committee on the three absentee members.

The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin called for debate on the report on the floor of the House.

According to the Majority Leader, the Speaker had once said the house will vote on the report but will not debate it.

He indicated that he didn’t agree with the Speaker then because that is not what the Constitution says, and stressed today the same person is giving a different ruling.

“Two different rulings from the Speaker. Both rulings are inconsistent with the constitution,” he stated.

“Notwithstanding anything contained in these Orders, Mr. Speaker may refer any question or privilege to the Committee of Privileges for examination, investigation and report,” Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, quoted Order 27.

He further noted the Speaker can on his own refer any matter of privilege to the Committee of Privileges, however, the Speaker did not touch on that today.

The Majority Leader was of the opinion that the determination of the Privileges Committee should have been contained in a report as provided for in Order 27.

“After the report then what happens? I’m saying the Speaker, and I’m insisting that the Speaker is totally wrong in his understanding of the Constitution because in this case, as I said, the report should be submitted to us, to Parliament by way of information.”

“The Speaker says a determination should be made about whatever the Committee comes up with, but that is not the language contained in the Constitution.”

“The Speaker is totally wrong in his understanding of the Constitution,” he added.

Mr. Bagbin on Wednesday, 26th October 2022 indicated on the floor that he will not declare the Dome Kwabenya seat vacant until a formal debate on the report submitted by the Privileges Committee.

Mr. Speaker in his ruling said, “The preliminary objection for the admissibility of the report is hereby dismissed in liminal.”

If readers would recall, Mr. Ras Mubarak, a former Member of Parliament for Kumbumgu Constituency petitioned the Speaker to enforce Article 97(1) c of the 1992 Constitution by referring some four MPs, including the Dome Kwabenya’s Sarah Adwoa Safo to the Privileges Committee for absenting themselves for more than 15 days in Parliament without permission.

The Speaker also referred the matter to the committee. The MPs were Kennedy Agyapong, for Assin Central, Henry Quartey for Ayawaso Central and Sarah Adwoa Safo, for Dome Kwabenya.

The two appeared before the Committee; however, Adwoa Safo refused to appear after several invitations to her.

Source: www.frontpageghana.com


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