A report on the attendance of Parliamentarians has cited 54 Members of Parliament who exceeded the number of times a legislator can be without permission at the 3rd sitting of the House
The Minister for Education and Member of Parliament for Manhyia South, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, who was absent from 27 Parliamentary sittings without permission in the 2nd meeting, was absent without permission again for 29 times at the 3rd sitting.
Other MPs who absented themselves many times without permission from the speaker included Nkawkaw MP and Eastern Regional Minister, Eric Kwakye Darfour; Krowor MP and Minister designate for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Elizabeth Afoley Quaye; Abuakwa South MP, Samuel Ata Akyea; and Sefwi-Wiawso MP, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie.
Eric Darfour was absent 36 times during the 3rd sitting.
New Patriotic Party (NPP) MPs were the worse culprits, with 45 MPs, while only 9 NDC MPs absented themselves without permission.
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.
Most of the MPs who absented themselves for more than 15 times, out of the 50 sittings were Ministers and Deputy Ministers.
Per Article 97 (1) (c) of the 1992 Constitution, Members of Parliament who absents themselves from parliamentary sitting for 15 times or more without the written permission of the Speaker must be made to vacate their seats.
Odekro, which issued a caution over the appointment of several ministers from parliament over fears of a weakened legislature, said in the report that, there is the need for stiff punishment for MPs who absent themselves from the House without permission.
It noted that the failure of the legislative body to punish MPs in the past for the offence seems to be encouraging MPs’ to continue with the trend.