Adwoa Safo’s fate as MP to be decided as plenary votes today

Adwoa Safo Sarah In Action Sarah Adwoa Safo

Thu, 28 Jul 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

The fate of 'absentee' Dome Kwabenya Member of Parliament, Sarah Adwoa Safo, will be decided today as the House decides on whether or not she should be ejected for extended absence without appropriate permission.

Parliament's Privileges Committee, tasked with investigating extended absences by the MP and two others from the Majority Group, will present its report to the plenary later today.

Reports including from the state-run Graphic Online say members of the Committee are split down the middle over the decision on Adwoa Safo's status as a lawmaker.

Whereas the Majority bloc has recommended that the Dome-Kwabenya seat be declared vacant, the Minority is of the view that the absentee MP should be offered more time to respond to what reasons have kept her away from the lawmaking chamber since December 2021.

Today, July 28 is the last day of sitting before the House goes on a break and it is expected that all MPs will be in the House for the purposes of that vote.

During the Committee's last sitting on Wednesday, July 13, 2022, all 27 members - 15 from the Majority and 12 from the Minority - voted to pardon the two other accused MPs, Henry Quartey (Ayawaso Central) and Kennedy Agyapong (Assin Central).

On the subject of Adwoa Safo, there was a disagreement which is expected to be resolved today when their report is laid before the plenary.

Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA), Dr. Rasheed Draman, has said that the upcoming vote might turn chaotic.

Dr. Draman confirmed the entrenched positions being held by both caucuses on the issue.

He added that if the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, is not available and any of his deputies who presides insist on taking part in the vote, there will be a mess in Parliament just like what happened during the passage of the Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy), onuaonline.com reports.

“There is a lot at stake here. My understanding from visiting the House is that one of the MPs is critically ill, so assuming that the person is still attending to treatment and is not in Parliament, it means that together with Hon. Adwoa Safo’s absence, the NPP has 136 then NDC side, currently, there is an injunction in Assin North, that brings their number to 136.

“Which means, we have a real, real hung Parliament. So that if you even need a simple majority and the NDC side says look none of them is going to support a motion to remove her, support the report of the Privileges Committee, then the NPP loses the vote. Because 136, 136 and you need a simple majority, you need 1 or 2 from the NDC.

“Assuming the Right Hon. Speaker is absent on that day, which becomes a disadvantage to the NPP. Let’s pray we don’t have a fight. Like we have seen in previous circumstances,” he said.

Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, referred the three New Patriotic Party MPs to the Privileges Committee of the House after he was petitioned by former MP, Ras Mubarak, to remove the MPs for absenting themselves for more than 15 consecutive sittings during the first Session of the 8th Parliament.

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Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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