Ghana: Punish absentee MPs at the polls – PNAfrica

By Papisdaff Abdullah

A Civil Society Organization, Parliamentary Network Africa (PNAfrica) has said to curb the rampant absenteeism of Members of Parliament in Ghana’s parliament, their constituents should punish the dormant MPs at the polls.

Executive Director for PNAfrica, Samuel Obeng disclosed that MPs are accountable to their constituents whom they represent in Parliament, therefore can make decisions on renewing their mandate or otherwise based on their performance in the legislative chamber.

According to him, the biggest punishment for an MP is for constituents “to punish them at the polls.”

“When they have seen the record of the attendances, you can say that please we send you to the House to stay through for the four or so hours that Parliament sits. We didn’t send you in there to go stay for two minutes.

“So because the record is showing that often you stay for less than thirty minutes we want to punish you at the polls, these are some of the things that can help,” Mr. Obeng stated on an Accra based radio station.

These comments follow growing concerns over the attendance of law makers and how it affects the business of the legislative arm of government in Ghana.

He, however, pointed out the attendance with the 8th Parliament has been better because of its nature as a hang Parliament.

“I think we have to be fair to this Parliament, attendance for this 8th Parliament has been relatively better especially because it is hanged Parliament. Maybe because it’s a hang

 

Parliament nobody wants surprises. They have done much, much better than previous Parliament our analysis figures has proved same,” he added.

Some MPs have been accused of smuggling their names into the attendance sheets even when they do not show up for work.

Last week, the house was forced to abandon a sitting when Tamale Central Member of Parliament, Murtala Mohammed raised the issue of lack of quorum when only 42 MPs were present. But the records of proceedings reflected 108 MPs were present.

 

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