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18.12.2017 Special Report

Odekro’s Absenteeism Report: Meet the MPs who violated Article 97(1)(c) of the 1992 Constitution

By Ernest Armah
Odekro’s Absenteeism Report: Meet the MPs who violated Article 97(1)(c) of the 1992 Constitution
LISTEN DEC 18, 2017

Regular attendance of MPs to parliament is critical to the functioning of government on at least two important counts. First, it is crucial for the effective representation of citizens during public debates and decision-making - a fundamental tenet of our democracy. Second, it ensures the efficiency of our governance processes. Before parliament can commence business, the 1992 Constitution requires that one-third of MPs (92 of the 275) are present. Thus, the lack of quorum brings to a halt government business and may delay or even rush the consideration or passage of crucial bills. For instance, on Wednesday 25th November, 2015 Parliament was forced to postpone its debate on the 2016 budget because the quorum had not been reached.

Yet, MPs may be absent from parliamentary meetings for other reasons aside party primaries. For example, MPs may be absent when Parliament sends them on an official mission. They may also be conducting other equally important duties as parliamentarians such as providing constituency service to their constituents. Lastly, MPs may be absent when they are sick or ill. However, MPs sometimes simply abandon their parliamentary duties to undertake personal business. The last point represents a leakage on the public purse.

MPs must seek permission from the Speaker in order to absent themselves from Parliament during any day of meeting (Article 97(1c)). The Parliamentary “Order Papers” and “Votes and Proceedings” record the attendance status of all Members of Parliament for each parliamentary , and meeting. For each meeting, an MP may be present, absent with permission or absent without permission.

Against this backdrop, chronic absenteeism affects quality of representation during debates and decision-making, and result in inefficiencies in the transaction of Parliamentary business. The most critical aspect of chronic absenteeism particularly without written permission of the Speaker is a violation of Article 97(1)(c) of the 1992 constitution of Ghana.

Odekro's absenteeism report examined the attendance records of MPs for the first (48) and second (37) meetings of the first session of the Seventh Parliament representing 85 sittings showing important trends in MPs' absenteeism in relation to variables (gender, age, ministerial status, party affiliation, term-in-office and electoral competition) that may influence attendance rate of MPs.

Using publicly available Votes and Proceedings, our research into MPs attendance to Parliament for First and Second meetings has shown that the following MPs are in breach of Article 97(1)(c):

Full list of Absentees

Name Constituency Ministerial status (M-Minister; DM-Deputy Minister)
Samuel Atta Akyea Abuakwa South M – Works and Housing
Kwaku Afriyie Sefwi-Wiawso M – Western Region
Joseph Kofi Adda Navrongo Central M – Water Resources and Sanitation
Catherine Abelema Afeku Evalue Ajomoro Gwira M - Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts
Kwasi Amoako-Attah Atiwa West M – Roads and Highways
Joe Ghartey Essikado/Ketan M - Railways Development
Ambrose Dery Nandom M – Interior
Kwaku Agyeman-Manu Dormaa Central M- Health
Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey (Ms) Anyaa/Sowutuom M- Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration
Elizabeth Afoley Quaye Krowor M- Fisheries and Aquaculture
Ignatius Baffuor Awuah Sunyani West M – Employment and Social Welfare
Matthew Opoku Prempeh Manhyia South M – Education
Eric Kwakye Darfuor Nkawkaw M – Eastern Region
Dominic Bingab Aduna Nitiwul Bimbilla M – Defense
Ursula G. Owusu-Ekuful (Mrs) Ablekuma West M – Communications
Kingsley Carlos Ahenkorah Tema West DM – Trade and Industry
Kwaku Agyenim-Boateng Berekum West DM – Railways Development
Solomon Namliit Boar Bunkpurugu DM – Northern Region
William Kwasi Sabi Dormaa East DM – Monitoring and Evaluation
Benito Owusu-Bio Atwima-Nwabiagya North DM – Lands and Natural Resources
Kingsley Aboagye-Gyedu Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai DM – Health
Tina Gifty Naa Ayeley Mensah Weija Gbawe DM – Health
Gifty Twum-Ampofo Abuakwa North DM – Gender, Children and Social Protection
Francis Kingsley Ato Codjoe Ekumfi DM – Fisheries and Aquaculture
William Owuraku Aidoo Afigya Kwabre South DM – Energy
Joseph Tetteh Upper Manya Krobo DM – Eastern Region
Paul Essien Jomoro DM – Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs
Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah Takoradi DM – Aviation
Ken Ohene Agyapong Assin Central N/A
Charles Binipom Bintin Saboba N/A
Dominic Akuritinga Ayine (Dr) Bolgatanga East N/A
Sampson Ahí Bodi N/A
Joseph Benhazin Dahah Asutifi North N/A
Ahmed Arthur Okaikwei South N/A
Ben Abdallah Banda Offinso South N/A
Kofi Okyere-Agyekum Fanteakwa South N/A
Mathias Kwame Ntow Aowin N/A
Kwaku Asante-Boateng Asante Akim South N/A
Kwabena Twum-Nuamah (Dr) Berekum East N/A
Kobina Tahir Hammond Adansi Asokwa N/A
Emmanuel Nii Okai Laryea Amasaman N/A
John Ntim Fordjour Assin South N/A
Samuel Ayeh-Paye Ayensuano N/A
Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin Nadowli/Kaleo N/A

Please find their scorecards attached.
Link to full report:

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