The national chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Freddie Blay, has waded into conversations surrounding the absence of the MP for Dome-Kwabenya, Sarah Adwoa Safo, from parliament.
Explaining the long absence of the lawmaker, Mr Blay said she took a leave of absence to address some health issues.
“I know that she asked for a period off to take care of some health issues and so let’s not make any hasty decisions. We must appreciate the situation she also finds herself in,” he said.
On Tuesday, February 22, 2022, the MP and Minister for Gender, Children, and Social Protection was in the news after her colleague MP for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong, alleged that she was refusing to return to parliament because the party is yet to meet her demand of giving her the deputy majority leader position.
“It is unfortunate that Adwoa Safo’s matter is in the public domain, but I would like to say that at the end of the day, parliamentary proceedings must continue; a resolution will be reached.
“She represents a people, a constituency. She is there [in parliament] to advocate their issues and implement government’s developmental agenda, and so she owes them a duty,” the party chairman told Asaase Radio.
Sarah Adwoa Safo has been away from parliament for some time.
Reports suggest that her last appearance in the Chamber was in December during the vote by Majority MPs to overturn the earlier rejection of the 2022 budget by NDC MPs.
Efforts to get her to return to the House for another crucial vote to approve the Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy) Bill appear to have proved futile.
Her absence has triggered rumours that she is sabotaging the governing party.
Consequently, there are reports of ongoing moves by the NPP and the majority in parliament to trigger processes for her seat to be pronounced vacant.
According to them, she has contravened the standing orders of the House, which stipulates that an MP shall not absent him/herself from parliamentary sittings for fifteen (15) consecutive days without recourse to the Speaker.
Article 97 (1) (c) of the 1992 Constitution and Order 17 of the Standing Orders of Parliament state emphatically: “A Member shall not absent himself during a meeting for more than fifteen sittings without the permission in writing of the Speaker. Any member infringing this Order shall have his conduct referred to the Privileges Committee.”