The former Member of Parliament for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarak, has petitioned the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin to declare some four seats in the lawmaking chamber vacant.
Mr. Mubarak in his petition mentioned some Members of Parliament who he says have been absent for some time now and fall foul of the laws in Parliament.
“It has come to my notice through parliament’s Hansard, and newspaper and radio report 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,” he disclosed in the petition.
Mr. Mubarak indicated that the situation of the people of Lower West Akyem during the 7th Parliament living without MP for some period of time must not happen.
“Leadership of the House at the time swept the absence of the MP, which conduct breached the 1992 Constitution and Standing Order 16(1) of the Standing Orders of Parliament under the rug.
“The Standing Orders of Parliament is not clear as to who can or should raise the matter of absenteeism on the floor of the House for a debate and or referral by Mr. Speaker to the Committee on Privileges. But it is incidences like this, if unattended to that threaten our democracy,” he added.
He said according to the Afrobarometer data, trust in Parliament has fallen by 12% between 2002 and 2019.
The report ranked Parliament as the third corrupt institution in our country – just behind the Police and Judges.
“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, so as to uphold our constitution and also win back waned public confidence,” he concluded.