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The Member of Parliament for Zebilla East, Cletus Avoka has said that the Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak rushed into filing a motion which seeks to reverse the referral of three MPs to the Privileges Committee for absenting themselves for over fifteen (15) sittings.

The Member of Parliament for Zebilla East, Cletus Avoka has said that the Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak rushed into filing a motion which seeks to reverse the referral of three MPs to the Privileges Committee for absenting themselves for over fifteen (15) sittings.

According to him, there was a need for the Minority Chief Whip to engage with the minority caucus as to whether or not he should present the motion.

 

 

 

“I think Muntaka is rushing too much. I thought when the House adjourned, there should have been a caucus meeting to discuss the way forward on whether we should present a motion or not, to rescind the Speaker’s decision,” citinewsroom quoted him to have said.

Background

On April 5, the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, referred three Members of Parliament to the Privileges Committee for absenteeism.

This comes after a former Kumbungu lawmaker, Ras Mubarak, sent a petition for action to be taken against truant MPs.

Reacting to the directive, the Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mohammed-Mubarak, challenged the Speaker’s decision.

He said the issue should have been raised by a Member of Parliament or by civil society.

“The Minority Chief Whip said Mr. Speaker I disagree with your conclusion and Mr. Speaker I make reference to our standing order 76(1) and I read ‘every application to parliament shall be in a form of petition and every petition must be presented by a member of Parliament who shall be responsible for the observance of the rules of appendix A’. Mr Speaker, you yourself alluded to the fact that MPs would raise a matter that would be raised to the privileges committee and civil society equally do same.

“Mr. Speaker with the greatest of respect I disagree with you when you Mr Speaker want to do that yourself because it has to be a member of parliament who has to do that per our rules,” he said.

He argued that for the Speaker to be allowed to take petitions from outsiders will be the greatest disservice to the members of the house.

“… If we allow Speakers to take petition from outsiders to refer MPs to privileges committee, colleagues we will be doing ourselves the greatest disservice. Because we will one day get a dictator speaker who will one day take statements from outsiders and begin to penalize members of parliament. It’s on this basis that I call on all of us that we resist the attempt by Mr Speaker to refer our colleagues to the privileges committee,” he said.

He however on April 5 filed a motion “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 Safo, Henry Quartey and Kennedy Ohene Agyapong.”

ghanaweb.com

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Author: umsdigital

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