The Chief Technical Advisor of the University of Ghana School of Law’s Democratic Vigilance Project has called for the immediate integration of Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwah into another Standing Committee prior to his resignation taking effect.
According to Oliver Barker-Vormawor, this is in fulfilment of the Constitution which demands that a Member of the House is bound to maintain membership of at least one Standing Committee.
He said, “This is because while a Member can presumably resign their membership from every select Committee; he or she cannot resign from every Standing Committee. A Member is bound to maintain membership of at least one Standing Committee.
“The constitution is clear in this respect. Article 103(4) provides that “Every member of Parliament shall be a member of at least one of the standing committees”.
“This provision, in my estimation imposes a dual responsibility on the House to ensure such membership, and on the member to maintain such membership. Personal autonomy while guaranteed by the constitution is also limited by the demands of this constitutional duty.”
His comments come on the back of the sudden resignation of Sam Okudzeto Ablakwah from Parliament’s Appointment Committee citing “personal” reasons.
“I shall like to state that the reasons for this difficult decision are both personal and on principle,” was all Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa alluded in his letter dated March 30.
Following this, the MP for North Tongu in a Facebook post expressed his gratitude to Speaker Alban Bagbin for a “fruitful” meeting and for accepting his resignation.
In this regard, Mr. Barker-Vormawor said the MP should not be left destitute in parliament and thus should be immediately integrated into another committee.
“Currently, Parliament as constituted, is divided into 11 standing committee, one of which is the Appointments Committee. Having indicated his intention to resign from the only Standing Committee of which he is a member, Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa must immediately be integrated into another Standing Committee, before that resignation becomes effective.
“He cannot exist on the brinks. It is constitutionally impossible to be destitute, in this regard,” he said.