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Parliament records low turnout amid COVID-19

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Over two hundred (200) sitting Members of Parliament were absent on Monday, March 23, 2020, amidst global Coronavirus outbreak.

At about 10:55 a.m. before the commencement of public business, only twenty (28) MPs comprising of thirteen (13) majority MPs and fifteen (15) minority MPs were present for business.

The Minority Chief Whip and MP for Asawase, Alhaji Mutaka Mubarak tried to arrest the process during the consideration stage of the Corporate Insolvency Bill, 2019 but the Speaker overruled him.

According to him, “it will be unconstitutional for less than half of MPs to take decision, when it comes to ‘amendment proposed’ to any clause in the bill.”

Alhaji Mutaka submitted: “you can’t take decision when we are less than half,” as he quoted article 104(1) of The 1992 Constitution which reads; 104 (1) “Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, matters in Parliament shall be determined by the votes of the majority of members present and voting, with at least half of all the members of Parliament present”.

The Speaker, Professor Aaron Mike Ocquaye disregarded his calls and went ahead with the amendment together with the Majority side, as the Minority side looked on unconcerned.

Earlier, the Speaker directed the MPs to maintain social distancing in the chamber, as officials distributed nose masks to MPs, Journalists and others within Parliament.

Story filed by Edzorna Francis Mensah.

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