General News of Tuesday, 19 December 2017
A total of 85 Members of Parliament were absent for more than 15 times without permission during the First and Second sitting of the seventh parliament. Ministers and Deputy Ministers of State were the worst culprits, Odekro a civil society organization has said.
The report further indicated that the guilty MPs consisted of 18 Ministers and 21 Deputy Ministers.
Some of these MP-Ministers included Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Dan Botwe, Samuel Ata Akyea, Catherine Afeku and Ignatius Baffour Awuah.
Odekro in the report said the absenteeism was important because: ‘’ 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. 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.’’