The Economic Fighters League (EFL) has submitted a petition to the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, demanding that he declares the seats of 54 absentee legislators vacant.
Fighter-General Hardi Yakubu noted in the petition dated 13 August 2018 that based on the work of Odekro, it has been established beyond doubt that these MPs have violated article 97 (1) (c) of the 1992 Constitution.
According to him, Article 97 (1) of the 1992 constitution stipulates that, â€œA member of Parliament shall vacate his seat in Parliament; (c) if he is absent, without permission in writing of the Speaker and he is unable to offer a reasonable explanation to the Parliamentary Committee on Privileges from fifteen sittings of a meeting of Parliament during any period that Parliament has been summoned to meet and continues to meetâ€.
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He pointed out that the Speaker has adjourned sittings for want of quorum on several occasions.
â€œRecently, the first deputy speaker lamented this attitude of absenteeism and said that those who absent themselves should probably not be in the House. They should leave. He was right as this is the position of the constitution. Absenteeism not only deprives us, the people of proper representation in Parliament, it can only lead to poor scrutiny of bills, agreements and other Executive actions. It also costs us money.
â€œThe records show that for the first session (January to December 2017) of the 7th Parliament, 54 MPs violated Article 97 (1) (c) by absenting themselves from 15 sittings or more without your permission. The records also show that they did not provide any â€œreasonable explanationâ€ to the Privileges Committee.
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He said: â€œDoing nothing about this chronic absenteeism makes nonsense of the Constitution and confirms the view that the laws of Ghana work only when some classes of citizens are involved and are impotent when others are involvedâ€.
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