Privileges Committee can’t declare Dome-Kwabenya seat vacant – Ricketts-Hagan

The Ranking Member on Parliament’s Privileges Committee, Kweku George Ricketts-Hagan says the committee’s hands are tied, as far as declaring the Dome-Kwabenya Seat vacant is concerned.

Mr. Rickets-Hagan argues that the law only authorises the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, to take a decision on the fate of Sarah Adwoa Safo’s membership of Parliament.

“You have to take 97 1 (c) with 1125 which says when the seat is declared vacant, the clerk of Parliament should inform EC so the bye-election happens.”

“Until the seat is declared vacant, we the privileges committee have no authority to inform the clerk of Parliament to inform the EC that Adwoa Safo’s seat is vacant. It is based on that, that we say we do not have the authority to declare the seat vacant,” he said on Citi FM/Citi TV’s news analysis programme, The Big Issue.

The beleaguered Dome-Kwabenya MP was relieved of her executive appointment as Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister after months of public criticism against her continuous stay in office in absentia.

That notwithstanding, parliamentary processes triggered for her removal as a Member of Parliament remain hanging, as Speaker Bagbin deferred a decision on the matter till October.

The Cape Coast legislator also questioned the basis for Adwoa Safo’s dismissal, saying the President failed to give reasons for his decision.

“This is not a reshuffle situation, it is an absenteeism situation. The President should have told us the reason why Adwoa Safo is being sacked.”

The Speaker deferred his ruling on Sarah Adwoa Safo, who has been cited for absenteeism saying,  he needed time to submit a written ruling.

At stake was whether the Dome Kwabenya seat would have been declared vacant after Adwoa Safo did not honour her summons by the Privileges Committee, which considered her absenteeism.