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Odekro Report Meet the MPs who absented themselves from Parliament, in violation of 1992 constitution

A survey by Odekro, a transparency organisation has revealed thirty-nine (39) MPs comprising 18 Ministers and 21 Deputy Ministers violated article 97(1)(c) of the 1992 Constitution by absenting themselves from Parliament.

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Regular attendance of MPs to parliament is critical to the functioning of government on at least two important counts.

First, it is crucial for the effective representation of citizens during public debates and decision-making - a fundamental tenet of our democracy. Second, it ensures the efficiency of our governance processes.

READ MORE: Meet the worst MPs in Ghana's Parliament

Before parliament can commence business, the 1992 Constitution requires that one third of MPs (92 of the 275) are present. Thus, the lack of quorum brings to a halt government business and may delay or even rush the consideration or passage of crucial bills.

For instance, on Wednesday 25th November, 2015 Parliament was forced to postpone its debate on the 2016 budget because  the quorum had not been reached.

Yet, MPs may be absent from parliamentary meetings for other reasons aside party primaries. For example, MPs may be absent when  Parliament sends them on an official mission.

They may also be conducting other equally important duties as parliamentarians such as providing constituency service to their constituents. Lastly, MPs may be absent when  they are sick or ill. However, MPs sometimes simply abandon their parliamentary duties to undertake personal business. The last point  represents a leakage on the public purse.

MPs must seek permission from the Speaker in order to absent themselves from Parliament during any day of meeting (Article 97(1c).

The Parliamentary “Order Papers” and “Votes and Proceedings” record the attendance status of all Members of Parliament for each parliamentary , and meeting. For each meeting, an MP may be present, absent with permission or absent without permission.

Against this backdrop, chronic absenteeism affects quality of representation during debates and decision-making, and result in inefficiencies in the transaction of Parliamentary business.

The most critical aspect of chronic absenteeism particularly without written permission of the Speaker is a violation of Article 97(1)(c) of the 1992 constitution of Ghana.

Odekro’s absenteeism report examined the attendance records of MPs for the first (48) and second (37) meetings of the first session of the Seventh Parliament representing 85 sittings showing important trends in MPs’ absenteeism in relation to variables (gender, age, ministerial status, party affiliation, term-in-office and electoral competition) that may influence attendance rate of MPs.

READ ALSO: Odekro apologises to Adwoa Safo for ranking her among worst MPs

Using publicly available Votes and Proceedings, our research into MPs attendance to Parliament for First and Second meetings has shown that the following MPs are in breach of Article 97(1)(c):

Full list of absentees

Full list of Absentees

Name

Constituency

Ministerial status

(M-Minister; DM-Deputy Minister)

Samuel Atta Akyea

Abuakwa South

M – Works and Housing

Kwaku Afriyie

Sefwi-Wiawso

M – Western Region

Joseph Kofi Adda

Navrongo Central

M – Water Resources and Sanitation

Catherine Abelema Afeku

Evalue Ajomoro Gwira

M - Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts

Kwasi Amoako-Attah

Atiwa West

M – Roads and Highways

Joe Ghartey

Essikado/Ketan

M - Railways Development

Ambrose Dery

Nandom

M – Interior

Kwaku Agyeman-Manu

Dormaa Central

M- Health

Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey (Ms)

Anyaa/Sowutuom

M- Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration

Elizabeth Afoley Quaye

Krowor

M- Fisheries and Aquaculture

Ignatius Baffuor Awuah

Sunyani West

M – Employment and Social Welfare

Matthew Opoku Prempeh

Manhyia South

M – Education

Eric Kwakye Darfuor

Nkawkaw

M – Eastern Region

Dominic Bingab Aduna Nitiwul

Bimbilla

M – Defense

Ursula G. Owusu-Ekuful (Mrs)

Ablekuma West

M – Communications

Kingsley Carlos Ahenkorah

Tema West

DM – Trade and Industry

Kwaku Agyenim-Boateng

Berekum West

DM – Railways Development

Solomon Namliit Boar

Bunkpurugu

DM – Northern Region

William Kwasi Sabi

Dormaa East

DM – Monitoring and Evaluation

Benito Owusu-Bio

Atwima-Nwabiagya North

DM – Lands and Natural Resources

Kingsley Aboagye-Gyedu

Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai

DM – Health

Tina Gifty Naa Ayeley Mensah

Weija Gbawe

DM – Health

Gifty Twum-Ampofo

Abuakwa North

DM – Gender, Children and Social Protection

Francis Kingsley Ato Codjoe

Ekumfi

DM – Fisheries and Aquaculture

William Owuraku Aidoo

Afigya Kwabre South

DM – Energy

Joseph Tetteh

Upper Manya Krobo

DM – Eastern Region

Paul Essien

Jomoro

DM – Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs

Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah

Takoradi

DM – Aviation

Ken Ohene Agyapong

Assin Central

N/A

Charles Binipom Bintin

Saboba

N/A

Dominic Akuritinga Ayine (Dr)

Bolgatanga East

N/A

Sampson Ahí

Bodi

N/A

Joseph Benhazin Dahah

Asutifi North

N/A

Ahmed Arthur

Okaikwei South

N/A

Ben Abdallah Banda

Offinso South

N/A

Kofi Okyere-Agyekum

Fanteakwa South

N/A

Mathias Kwame Ntow

Aowin

N/A

Kwaku Asante-Boateng

Asante Akim South

N/A

Kwabena Twum-Nuamah (Dr)

Berekum East

N/A

Kobina Tahir Hammond

Adansi Asokwa

N/A

Emmanuel Nii Okai Laryea

Amasaman

N/A

John Ntim Fordjour

Assin South

N/A

Samuel Ayeh-Paye

Ayensuano

N/A

Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin

Nadowli/Kaleo

N/A

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