Declare Dome Kwabenya seat vacant – ACEPA

Source The Ghana Report

The African Center for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA) has urged authorities to declare the Dome Kwabenya seat vacant, following the continuous absence of its representative Sarah Adwoa Safo. 

The Executive Director of the Center, Dr. Rasheed Draman is convinced Sarah Adwoa Sarfo’s complete disregard for parliamentary sittings and further invitations to explain her absence is deliberate, thus the need to declare the seat vacant.

“The people of Dome-Kwabenya have been left unrepresented for long. If she can no longer represent them, it is best the seat is declared vacant. This whole issue of she has not been served by the Privileges committee, and all others, the question is what are the procedures on how long a Minister of State can be absent from duty?

“Do we have anything that guides that in running our country? If not, our leaders have some questions to answer. There are a lot of questions to be answered on this whole Adwoa Safo issue. Parliament owes us some answers.

“Our Parliament is looking as one that cannot regulate itself. This is sending very bad signals out there and if nothing is done about it, Parliament may lose respect among the populace,” he stressed.

This comes after the legislator failed to once again appear before the Privileges Committee over issues of absenteeism.


The legislator, who doubles as the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection has failed to respond to queries for her absence from Parliament for more than 15 sittings.

She has been away from her post for the greater part of the year, attending to her sick son in the United States.

The committee said it had to resort to hosting her online because all attempts to get her to appear before the committee had proven futile.

The embattled legislator again snubbed the committee in the latest invitation on Wednesday, July 6.

It is unclear what will be the fate of Adwoa Safo after the latest action not to appear before the committee after being offered numerous chances and alternative interactions.

But the Ranking Member on the Committee, Kweku Ricketts-Hagan has said that the committee will submit its report on the latest development to the Speaker of Parliament.

“We exhausted all our options and we did not hear from her. We will not make any further attempts to try and reach her. Unless she comes to say that she got the information late.

“As we stand, per the mandate given to us by the Speaker, we have basically failed to reach her, and we have not heard from her as to whether she wants to continue her work in Parliament or not,” he said on Citi News monitored by theghanareport.com.

The issue of absenteeism came to light after a former Member of Parliament for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarak, petitioned the Speaker in March 2022.

Mr. Mubarak cited four MPs: Dome Kwabenya MP, Sarah Adwoa Safo; Ayawaso Central MP, Henry Quartey; MP for Ahanta West, Ebenezer Kojo Kum; and Assin Central MP, Ken Ohene Agyapong.

He said the MPs had flouted provisions of Article 97 (1) (c) of the Constitution and Parliament’s Standing Order 16 (1), which frowns on members absenting themselves for 15 sitting days without permission from the Speaker.

Per Article 97(1)(c) of the 1992 Constitution, a Member of Parliament shall vacate his seat “if he is absent, without the permission in writing of the Speaker, and he is unable to offer a reasonable explanation to the Parliamentary Committee on Privileges from fifteen sittings of a meeting of Parliament during any period that Parliament has been summoned to meet and continues to meet.”

Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin subsequently referred the three MPs to the Privileges Committee.

Adwoa Safo’s earlier response

In an earlier interview, the sector minister said she had not been served to appear for a probe on absenteeism.

The legislator, who has been criticized for abandoning her ministry and parliamentary duties, says no information has officially reached her desk.

“I have served in parliament for over 12 years and a practising lawyer for 18 years. I know the rules, but as I sit here, I have not been served…No official document has come to me.

“I don’t have to be served through the media. I have to be served personally, and I don’t have to be served through third parties,” she said.

The Gender Minister said she was currently in the United States attending to pressing family issues and would return after taking care of her sick son.

“As you can see, I am here in the United States taking care of my son, and I don’t know how I am supposed to appear before the committee. If the Speaker says you have been summoned to the Privileges Committee, the committee then sets its own modalities on when we are to appear but I don’t have any information on that,” she said in an interview on Joy News on Thursday, 26 May 2022.

She insisted she would only return home when her son was declared fit and healthy.

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