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.

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. 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.




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