The Clerk of Parliament must notify the Electoral Commission that the Dome-Kwabenya Constituency seat is vacant, according to Joseph Osei-Owusu, the chairman of the Parliament’s Privileges Committee.
According to Mr. Osei-Owusu, this is the conclusion that the Committee came to after hearing from two of the three NPP lawmakers who had missed more than 15 consecutive sessions of Parliament.
On July 14, he revealed this to Emefa Apawu of JoyNews.
According to Ghana’s Constitution, Article 97, a member of Parliament must resign from his position if he misses fifteen sittings without the Speaker’s consent and is unable to provide a plausible justification to the Parliamentary Committee on Privileges.
TENURE OF MEMBERS’ OFFICES
- A member of the House or Senate must give up their seat.
c. if he is absent from fifteen sittings of a Parliamentary meeting during any period that Parliament has been called to session and continues to session without the Speaker’s authorization in writing and is unable to provide an acceptable explanation to the Parliamentary Committee on Privileges.
The Bekwai MP clarified that this clause began to apply the moment the MP declined the Committee’s offer to appear and provide an explanation for her absence from the Committee’s meeting.
“In accordance with the law, it is for the Clerk to inform the Electoral Commission that a vacancy has occurred, that is what the Constitution says, that is what our report reflects.”
He clarified that the Committee made every effort to alert her to the requirement to appear and provide an explanation for her absence. He went on to say that because she didn’t arrive, the seat was now vacant by default.
In the meantime, the Committee has agreed to “forgive” Assin Central MP Kennedy Agyapong and Ayawaso Central MP Henry Quartey, who both missed more than 15 consecutive sessions of Parliament last year.