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Adwoa Safo’s Dome Kwabenya seat to be declared vacant following PC recommendation

The sitting MP for Dome Kwabenya, Sarah Adwoa Safo, has been absent from Parliament for virtually the whole of this year

Parliament’s privileges committee (PC) has recommended that the House should declare the Dome Kwabenya parliamentary seat in the Greater Accra Region vacant.

The sitting Member of Parliament for the constituency, Sarah Adwoa Safo, has been absence from the House virtually the whole of this year (2022), in clear breach of Article 97(1)c of the 1992 constitution.

Asaase News sources familiar with the committee’s report indicated that it was completed on Tuesday 26 July 2022 and tabled in the House on Wednesday 27 July 2022.

Prolonged absence

The source indicated that the committee accepted the explanations given by Henry Quartey, the MP for Ayawaso Central, who is also the Greater Accra Region Minister, and Kennedy Agyapong, the MP for Assin Central in the Central Region, for what accounted for their prolonged absence from Parliament beyond the 15 sitting days allowed.

Forfeiture of seat

Sara Adwoa Safo, on the other hand, failed to show up before the committee since it was mandated by the Speaker on 5 April 2022, to investigate the circumstances under which the three MPs, absented themselves for more than fifteen sitting days within the first meeting of the second session, per the records from the Clerks at Table.

The law, according to Article 97(1)c of the 1992 constitution, which states:

“A member of Parliament shall vacate his seat in Parliament if he is absent, without the permission in writing to 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 …”

is clear that once an MP absents herself from the House that long, she forfeits her seat unless she proffers an explanation that is deemed reasonable. Once the decision is taken as it was on Tuesday 26 July, the seat becomes vacant.


Beyond her removal from Parliament, Adwoa Safo’s job as a substantive minister of state responsible for the Gender, Children and Social Protection portfolio, has also been in sharp focus in public discourse both on social and mainstream media.

There are those who have called on her to resign as a minister of state. Others have called on President Akufo-Addo to remove her from the post.

In the event that President Akufo-Addo carries out the much-anticipated reshuffle of his government, it is expected that he will appoint a new substantive minister to replace Ms Safo.

Potential replacements

Potential names of individuals in government and out of government who are being considered or who may be appointed to replace her according to Asaase News sources at Jubilee House, include the current deputy minister of gender, children and social protection and MP for Walewale (North East Region), Lariba Zuweira Abudu.

Cecilia Abena Dapaah, the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resource who is currently the caretaker minister overseeing the Gender, Children and Social Protection Ministry in Ms Safo’s absence, is among those to be considered for the job.

Some other persons under consideration are Freda Prempeh, the minister of state in charge of Works and Housing and MP for Tano North in the Ahafo Region, and Sheila Penelope Bartels, the MP for Ablekuma North, in the Greater Accra Region.

Leave extension

On 6 October 2021, President Akufo-Addo extended the leave of absence from office for the Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister.

In a statement signed and issued by the director of communications in Office of the President, Eugene Arhin, it was explained that Ms Safo’s leave was to have ended on 31 August 2021.

The president granted Ms Safo’s leave on health grounds. In her absence and until further notice, he directed the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, to act as the caretaker minister in charge of Gender, Children and Social Protection.

Her absence has thus not been felt, in that her functions have, staff at the ministry say, been carried out competently by the acting minister, Cecilia Dapaah, and the deputy minister, Lariba Zuweira Abudu.

Wilberforce Asare

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