MPs debate absentee MPs’ report after Bagbin’s clearance.

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The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has given permission for the Privileges Committee’s report on three absentee Members of Parliament to be tabled and debated in the House.

On Wednesday, October 26, 2022, Mr. Bagbin rejected attempts by the Speaker to declare some seats vacant without a formal debate of the Privileges Committee’s report.

Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin stated in his ruling that “the preliminary objection for the admissibility of the report is hereby dismissed in limine.”

The three members – Kennedy Agyapong, MP for Assin Central, Henry Quartey, MP for Ayawaso West, and Adwoa Safo, MP for Dome Kwabenya – were referred to the Privileges Committee for being absent from Parliament for an indefinite period.

While Kennedy Agyapong and Henry Quartey appeared before the committee and claimed their absence was due to illness, Adwoa Safo did not appear.

She blamed her long absence from Parliament on family issues, claiming that her son was ill, among other things.

The President recently removed her from her position as Minister of Gender, Children, and Social Protection.

Prior to Parliament’s July 2022 recess, Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu insisted, among other things, that the Privileges Committee’s report not be debated in the House.

This request was however rejected by the Speaker of Parliament.

Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu strongly opposed the ruling, claiming that it was detrimental to Parliamentary business.

“I totally disagree with the ruling. It doesn’t sit with the constitution and I must express my discomfort with this unfortunate ruling that has been made because it is very inconsistent. We will come back with a substantive motion to challenge the ruling”, Majority leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu said on the floor right after the ruling.”

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