General News

Day two of budget debate: Speaker suspends sitting over MPs’ absenteeism

The Speaker of Parliament has suspended sitting in the House. This was after leaders from both sides of the House complained about the poor attendance in the Chamber ahead of the second day of debate on the budget. Complaining about the attitude of members towards work in the Chamber, the Speaker said: “I do not think any of us will want this House to be associated with taking this imperative function lightly.

I will suspend sitting and meet with the leaders because I believe we all agreed that this is not good enough and I am glad that no one is rising in defence of what is manifestly facing us. We shall have a little meeting and honourable members will come and sit by at the hour of 11.30. I thank you very much.”

85 MPs absented themselves from parliament without permission – Report

Many have complained about some MPs’ seeming apathy to the work of Parliament as they continue to absent themselves for sittings.Ministers of State who double as Members of Parliament were the worst culprits of absenteeism without permission during the First and Second sittings of the Seventh Parliament, 2017.

The Ministers, including deputies, absented themselves from at least 15 sittings without the permission of the Speaker of Parliament.This was contained in a report by Odekro; a civil society organization focused on activities of the legislature. According to the report, the guilty MPs consisted of 18 Ministers and 21 Deputy Ministers.

Speaker meets ’empty’ Parliament; scolds MPs for lateness

The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye, in October 2017 was angry at Members of Parliament for being late for meetings of the House. His comments followed the presence of fewer than five MPs on their seats, at the time proceedings were scheduled to begin at 10:00 am.

Disappointed by the emptiness of the House, Prof. Oquaye rebuked the MPs and charged leaders of the House to get members on the floor to do business on time, saying the taxpayers do not expect lateness from them.

“Our people who pay us expect that work should be done, so let us at least take the opportunity to see how we can contain the situation to ameliorate the problem rather than taking advantage of it and going home,” he added.


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