Speaker stunned by poor MP attendance
Parliamentary speaker Jógvan á Lakjuni was left angry and bewildered on Wednesday night after he had to postpone a vote because only 16 MPs had turned up in Parliament.
The Faroese Parliament has 33 seats, and at least 17 MPs must show up in order to meet the parliamentary quorum rules which define the MP attendance required for a vote to be decisive.
“I’ve never seen anything like this in all my years in politics,” said Lakjuni.
Too many clearing agreements
This should not, he said, be taken as MPs lacking respect for their parliamentary duties but rather a coincidence in which too many of them had made so-called clearing arrangements.
Clearing arrangements are commonly used in parliamentary votes. They are a form of proxy voting in which an MP who cannot attend a vote makes an agreement with an MP with an opposing view about not voting, thus cancelling out one vote in favour and one against.
“I will discuss this matter with the party leaders to ensure that we get a more structured approach regarding these clearing arrangements so we can avoid scenarios like this in the future.”
He added that he does not believe that Wednesday’s poor attendance was related to the topic of the vote, which was about who has the ultimate responsibility for homeless people.
Translated by prosa.fo