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General News of Friday, 27 May 2022

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

'Absentee' MPs probe: Don't recommend expulsion - Muntaka to Privileges Committee

Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka

Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, Minority Chief Whip, has cautioned members of the Privileges Committee against recommending the expulsion of the three absentee MPs from the governing NPP caucus.

According to him, any such recommendation will amount to stabbing the heart of Parliament. The trio were scheduled to appear before the Committee for breaching the consecutive 15-day absence rule

The Asawase MP had already expressed his disappointment in the Speaker of Parliament for referring the three absentee MPs to the Committee and asked the members to be wary of the decision they make.

He argued that any recommendation that would trigger a declaration of their seats as vacant would be a dagger in the heart of Parliament.

“Because of numbers of voting and other things, we want to treat ourselves this way, and we members of Parliament also think that it is fine to do it. This is just taking a dagger and stabbing yourself.

“I just want to remind our colleagues who are on the Privileges Committee that this is about ourselves and I am sorry to say the public for lack of understanding of the work that Parliamentarians do, speak evil and ill of Members of Parliament. We cannot hate ourselves that much.

“If we as Parliamentarians decide to hate ourselves, well, then it is up to us. So I would want to caution my colleagues on the Privileges Committee to reflect on all the things that is happening and put each and every one of these members in your own shoes and ask yourselves whether these members are deliberately doing what they are doing or they have a just cause,” Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka said in a JoyNews interview.

The MP referenced instances where Supreme Court judges who were absent from post were still being paid by the state and added that some civil servants still remained on the payroll despite their incapacitation.

A situation he believes should be emulated by the House.

“Go check Supreme Court. I know Supreme Court judges who were sick for three years, but they were still being paid. They got the sickness because they were on the job, so the state continued to take care of them. For three years they were not working but were still being paid. If we were to follow the Constitution, once they became incapacitated, they were supposed to be removed, but they were not removed,” he said.

Meanwhile, one of the affected MPs, Sarah Adwoa Safo, had stated in a JoyNews interview that she is not aware that she has been scheduled to appear before the Privileges Committee

“I am not aware such a thing has been given to me. I am just hearing it from you. As we speak, I don’t know that I have been invited.

“I have to be served,” Sarah Adwoa Safo stressed.

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