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Parliament to approve ex-gratia for members of Executive

Parliament is set to approve the emoluments for Article 71 office holders in the Executive.

The intended action is on the agenda of the house after it reconvened yesterday, Monday, December 14, 2020.

In June this year, the President inaugurated a five-member Committee to make recommendations on the salaries, allowances and privileges for article 71 officeholders.

The report of the Committee has not been presented to Parliament but the Speaker, Prof  Mike Oquaye says the house must make a determination on the matter before the house is finally dissolved.

“Again with accordance with the 1992 Constitution, this house will be required to consider the approval of the Executive component of Article 71 officer holders report before the dissolution of the House.”

Article 71 office holders include the President, the Vice-President, the Speaker of Parliament, the Chief Justice and Justices of the Supreme Court.

The rest are Members of Parliament (MPs), Ministers of State, political appointees and public servants.

The payment of ex gratia to former public office holders is a controversial issue in Ghana, with details of the payments made to these officials, particularly former presidents, generating massive public interest.

In recent years, however, arguments have surfaced about the number of officials who benefit from the ex gratia payments and whether there is a need for the payments at all.

In 2017, a Ghanaian lawyer, Elikplim L. Agbemava, went to the Supreme Court seeking clarification on some of the benefits enjoyed by the Article 71 officeholders.

The lawyer wanted presidential staffers who benefit from salaries, allowances, and privileges like the Article 71 officeholders, to be stripped of such gratuities claiming it “is inconsistent with Article 71 and therefore unconstitutional.”

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