About 15 Members of Parliament have been found to repeatedly abandon parliamentary duties after coming to check their names on the attendance list.
Scenes from parliament routinely show a depleted chamber despite a heavy workload.
The Speaker of Parliament on March 3, 2019 watched aghast as only 15 MPs were seen in the 275-seater chamber at the time of commencement.
First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu made the revelation on the floor of the House after the matter was raised by NDC MP for Ningo-Prampram, Samuel Nartey George.
“Mr. Speaker, this is an honourable House…can we all be truthful to ourselves and to God that if we take today’s votes and proceedings, would the names marked present be really present in this chamber?” he quizzed.
The First Deputy Speaker said this behaviour raises questions over the integrity of MPs. But he would not mention names.
He added that the practice was very pervasive even at committee sittings.
“Even State Of the Nation Address they don’t even attend”, the first-time MP observed.
MP absenteeism is a frequent theme in his opening addresses when parliament reconvenes.
There is a website, Odekro.org, dedicated to tracking MP attendance.
Odekro, a parliament-focused civil society organisation released a 50-page report which revealed, ministers of state who double as Members of Parliament absented themselves more frequently than MPs without a ministerial position.
As “punitive measures”, Odekro suggested that “MPs found to have no reasonable excuse to be absent without written permission from 15 sittings and beyond should be asked to vacate their seats in line with Article 97(1)(c) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
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Source: Yen News