Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has admitted that all is not well with the Majority Caucus with the continuous absence of the Member of Parliament for Dome-Kwabenya, Sarah Adwoa Safo in Parliament. The Dome-Kwabenya MP has been absent from the House for an extended period without permission from the Speaker.
Political commentators have speculated that her absence could be attributed to a rift with the NPP. Speaking on PM Express on Monday, the Majority Leader maintained that although all is not right with the absence of Adwoa Safo in Parliament, “how to go forward with it is a bigger burden.” When host Evans Mensah asked if the Dome-Kwabenya MP needed assistance, he declined to respond. He, however, stated that “things are not normal.”
Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu further revealed that all attempts to get Adwoa Safo back into the House have proven futile, and thus the next line of action lies in the bosom of the Speaker. He added that “as fortunate as the situation is, a decision has to be taken one way or the other.”
“Well, really when we say that push, in this case, has come to shove and when push comes to shove some decision, some determination has to be made. And so I agree with the Speaker if that determination has to be made it has to be made,” he said. He also stated that Adwoa Safo’s absence had hampered the Majority Caucus’s efforts in Parliament, particularly the passage of the E-levy Bill, which he believes would have been a piece of cake if she had been present. Meanwhile, Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has referred three members of the House to the Privileges Committee, for their continuous absence in Parliament.
They are; the Dome-Kwabenya MP, Sarah Adwoa Safo, Ayawaso Central MP, Henry Quartey and Assin Central MP, Kennedy Agyapong. All from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) side of the House. According to the Speaker, the three legislators have breached the 15-day absence rule, hence his decision to refer them to the Privileges Committee for the necessary actions to be taken.
Delivering his ruling on the floor of Parliament on Tuesday, Mr. Alban Bagbin explained that based on the relevant provisions of the 1992 Constitution and the Standing Orders of Parliament, the named NPP lawmakers are guilty of the absenteeism threshold for Members of Parliament. “I have accordingly come to the irresistible conclusion that a Member who absents himself or herself from 16 sitting days of Parliament in a particular meeting, without the permission in writing of the Speaker, falls squarely within the ambit of Article 97, clause 1(c) of the 1992 Constitution and Order 16(1) of the Standing Orders of Parliament”, he stated.