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Muntaka criticises Speaker’s referral of MPs to Privileges Committee

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Muntaka Mubarak

The Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka has criticised Speaker Alban Bagbin’s ruling to refer three Members of Parliament (MPs) to the Privileges Committee.

According to him, the Speaker’s decision was not in the right direction and, thus, served notice to file a substantive motion to challenge the decision.

The three MPs: Sarah Adwoa Safo, MP for Dome-Kwabenya; Henry Quartey, MP for Ayawaso Central; and Kennedy Agyapong, MP for Assin Central, have been referred to the Privileges Committee for absenting themselves from the House for 15 sittings.

They are said to have breached the rules of the House after having absented themselves for 15 sittings without written permission to the Speaker.

Alhaji Muntaka, in his contribution on the floor, disagreed with the decision, saying: “is not in the right direction.”

He, therefore, called for a unanimous decision for all MPs to resist the Speaker’s ruling, insisting that he could not continue to accept petitions from outsiders, on his own accord.

Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said the Constitution was clear on Article 97 (1) (c) that: “A member of Parliament shall vacant his seat in Parliament if he is absent without permission in writing to the Speaker and unable to offer reasonable explanation to the Parliament Committee of Privileges for fifteen sittings of the meeting of Parliament during any period that Parliament have been summoned to meet and continue to meet.”

He argued that it was the Privileges Committee that would make a determination on the three MPs and submit a report for the information of the House but not for the plenary to vote on them.

Source: GNA

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