Muntaka files motion challenging referral of absentee MPs to Privileges Committee

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Asawase, Mubarak Muntaka has filed a motion against the decision by the Speaker of Parliament to refer three lawmakers to the Privileges Committee.

Mubarak Mohammed Muntaka

According to him, the decision by the Speaker is unfair to the three members of Parliament who belong to the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

In the motion, Hon. Mubarak called on Parliament “to revoke, cancel or rescind the referral made by The Rt. Hon. Speaker on the 5TH Day of April 2022, to the committee on Privileges to consider the issue of absence without permission from the House under Article 97 (1) (c) of the constitution and Standing Orders 15 and 16 of Honourables Sarah Adwoa Sarfo, Henry Quartey and Kennedy Ohene Agyapong.”

In their last sitting before the Easter break, Alban Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament referred Sarah Adwoa Sarfo, Henry Quartey and Kennedy Ohene Agyapong to the Privileges Committee for absenteeism.

He said the absence of the MPs without his permission constitutes a breach of the rules of the house.

Muntaka said if the Speaker’s decision is allowed to stand, it will set a dangerous precedence which can be used by a “dictator speaker” in future to hurt lawmakers.

“If we allow this to stand it will become precedent, tomorrow it may hurt all of us,” he said.

In an earlier interview, the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu indicated that they will refer Adwoa Safo to the Committee.

Speaking about her absence on JoyNews’ PM Express, the Majority Leader noted that the Speaker had intended to refer her to the Privileges Committee last week Tuesday, but due to prevailing circumstances had to reschedule.

“My information was that even last Tuesday, the Speaker was going to make a pronouncement on it in the house but I think the circumstances prevented him from so doing. I want to believe that perhaps before the House adjourns tomorrow or maybe next week when the House sits the Speaker may make the announcement by referring her conduct to the Privileges Committee before we adjourn. That’s the information that the Speaker gave to me,” he said.


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