Parliament approves ex-gratia
Parliament has unanimously approved the report of the Presidential Committee on salaries and emoluments for Article 71 office holders including exgratia for outgoing President John Dramani Mahama.
Though details of the report is scanty, because the approval was done in a closed-door sitting, sources indicate that the Members of Parliament were excited about the turn of events.
This is because they saw some increment in salaries and exgratia for both the Executive and the Legislature including all article 71 office holders.
By Ghana’s laws, Parliament and the Executive have the mandate to review each other’s exgratia.
In 2012, the taxpayer incurred some GH¢47million as exgratia payments to the 230 MPs who served in the Fifth Parliament of the Fourth Republic.
Members of Parliament who lost their seats that year took home GH¢311,000 each, while those who retained their seats received GH¢276,000 each.
Article 71 (1) and (2) of the 1992 Constitution stipulates that the determination of the salaries and allowances of the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary paid from the Consolidated Fund would be determined by the President, on the recommendations of a committee of not more than five persons appointed by him and acting upon the advice of the Council of State.
In determining the salaries of the President, his Ministers and political appointees, as well as the members of the Council of State, the Constitution states that Parliament will determine that based on the advice of the same committee.
The committee appointed by President John Mahama finished its work in August 2016 and submitted same to the president and Parliament in September.
The two arms have within the next few days to consider and approve the recommendations made by the committee.
Earlier the Speaker of the House, Edward Doe Adjaho urged Members of Parliament (MPs) who will exit the house to begin the processes in earnest to vacate their offices since he has already begun his.
“I urge all of you non-returning Members to leave these parliamentary precincts with enthusiasm and hope and demonstrate same by packing out and vacating your respective offices by the 6TH January 2017 to facilitate a smooth transition for the incoming MPs elected to replace you.
To serve as an example, I have myself as Speaker, already packed and only waiting for the conclusion of our final proceedings so as to vacate the Speakers' office to enable the incoming Speaker to assume his role seamlessly,” he told Parliament.
Furthermore, he also indicated that the House would be receiving President John Mahama to deliver a message on the State of the Nation before the dissolution of the Sixth Parliament of the Fourth Republic.
Other issues the Speaker stated was the consideration and passage of the Right to Information Bill which has dragged on for a while.
Mr Adjaho also congratulated Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, on his electoral victory and also commended outgoing President, John Dramani Mahama, for demonstrating a high level of statesmanship.