Introduce strict sanctions to curb absenteeism – ACEPA to Parliament

The Executive Director of the African Center for Parliamentary Affairs, Dr. Rasheed Draman has called on Parliament to initiate strict sanctions to address the issue of absenteeism in the House.

Dr. Rasheed’s concern follows complaints by the Minority that most members of the Majority have abandoned parliamentary business for campaign tours with the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia since the house resumed from recess.

In an interview with Citi News, the Executive Director of the African Center for Parliamentary Affairs, expressed worry about the issue, highlighting that this problem has persisted through multiple Parliament.

He also criticised the current Parliament’s failure to address it effectively.

Dr Dramani, however, believes that the existing sanctions and measures in the constitution are not enforced, adding that the parliament’s leadership is avoiding responsibility.

In addressing this issue, Dr. Dramani proposed that Parliament must consider alternative methods to enforce attendance and accountability.

He said, ”They are doing work that is not supposed to be their work. Because Parliament is not on recess and so during the recess, they could follow the Vice President or for that matter any presidential candidate of their choice. But even then, it raises issues because, when they are on recess, that is when they are supposed to be with their constituents.

“For me, that brings me to the issue of absenteeism that we are grappling with as a country. And unfortunately, Parliament, that is this Parliament as well as all the seven Parliaments before this one have not been able to have a handle on this issue of absenteeism.

“Parliament has been very weak when it comes to dealing with this matter. Either because the kind of sanction and the measures put in the constitution and the standing orders are ones that a parliament cannot really implement, or the leadership of parliament is running away from its responsibilities.

“In the past, when some of these issues came up, I think some of us have found out that if parliament know that they cannot punish our own for absenteeism. Then perhaps they should consider other methods of dealing with absenteeism.

“Like what is done in some European countries where you absent yourself and you lose some benefits. Otherwise, because there is no real sanction regime, people can just walk away from Parliament. And show up anytime, because they know nothing is going to happen to them, as has been the case over the years.”


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