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26.10.2004 General News

Rashid Bawa's presence in Parliament questioned

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Accra, Oct. 26, GNA - Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, NDC-Avenor, on Tuesday questioned the legality of the continued presence of Mr Rashid Bawa, the Member of Parliament for the Akan Constituency in Parliament.

Mr Adjaho said he was seeking guidance from the Speaker, Mr Peter Ala Adjetey as to the presence of Mr Bawa in Parliament, describing him as "a stranger in the House" for having entered Parliament as an Independent Member, who had now crossed carpet to another party.

In his argument, the MP for Avenor quoted Article 97 Clause (1) (h), which states that: "a member of Parliament shall vacate his seat in Parliament if he was elected a member of Parliament as an independent candidate and joins a political party".

The Speaker at this stage asked if Mr Bawa, who is also a Minister of State, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports was in the House. The Minister then rose to his feet and was asked by the Speaker if he had indeed joined another political party.

"What do you have to say?" the Speaker questioned. Mr Bawa, however, denied joining any political party but this answer brought shouts from the Minority side.

Basing his judgement on what the Minister of State had said, Mr Ala Adjetey in his ruling said he had no evidence to show that the Independent Member of Parliament had indeed joined another party. Later in an interview with the GNA, Mr Doe Adjaho said he was proceeding to bring before the Speaker evidence to show that the Minister had did not project the true statement.

He said he was going to the Electoral Commission to find out whether the Minister had indeed filed his nomination for the Akan Constituency and under what circumstance.

Additionally, the MP for Avenor said he was going to bring posters of the Minister that would show that he had a case to answer. Earlier, the various papers including loan agreement for the road and energy sectors were laid.

Some MPs were however, unhappy with the late presentation of some of these documents and loan agreements, saying this added more work to the Finance Committee and could also lead to shoddy work being done on the documents.

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