Speaker declares seat vacant after 14 months
Accra, Feb. 9, GNA - The Speaker, Mr Ebenezer Sekyi Hughes, on Friday declared the Nkronzah North seat vacant and accordingly, directed the Clerk of Parliament to inform the Electoral Commission of the vacancy.
Before the commencement of Public Business, the Speaker informed the House of a communication received from Mr Eric Amoateng, (NPP-Nkronzah North), informing the Speaker of his resignation in accordance with provisions of the constitution and article 17 of the Standing Orders of Parliament.
Article 17 of the Standing Orders states that: " A member who desires to resign his seat in the House shall notify Mr Speaker in writing under his hand of his intention to resign his seat and Mr Speaker shall inform the House as soon as practicable."
The Speaker read out all the contents of Mr Amoateng's letter on the floor of the House.
The member, in his letter addressed to the Speaker, said: "I have come to the realization that my people would be better served in my crises by relinquishing my position."
He said his resignation was voluntary and expressed appreciation to the Speaker, the Majority and Minority leaders and the Privileges Committee for the time given him during his long absence from the house. Mr Amoateng is facing legal charges in the United States following his arrest late 2005 for his alleged involvement in narcotic drugs.
Mr Sekyi Hughes, after reading out the communication, said Mr Amoateng had complied with "Standing Order 17 in all material respect."
He said: "In accordance with Standing Order 18, I herby declare the seat of Nkoranzah North vacant on this 9th day of February, 2007."
Standing Order 18 states that: " The seat of a member shall be declared vacant by Mr Speaker under clause (1) (b) to (h) of Article 97 of the Constitution."
The Speaker then quoted Standing Order 19, and directed the Clerk of Parliament to inform the Electoral Commission of the vacancy in accordance with that provision.
Mr Sekyi Hughes told the House that his earlier ruling on January 30, to the Privileges Committee to re-visit the position taken by the House to give Mr Amoateng time, had been overtaken by the communication received from the member.
He, accordingly, ruled that the matter before the committee had no effect in the light of the resignation of Mr Amoateng.