The former Member of Parliament for Jirapa, Dr Francis Bawaana Dakura has blamed the harsh manner in which the populace reacted to the recent payment of ex-gratia to current and former lawmakers in the just past parliament on the lavish and extravagant lifestyles being lived by the legislators.
According to him, instead of living a moderate life that will be appreciated by their constituents, MPs have rather developed a lifestyle that seems to portray parliament as a place where there is a pot of gold that “anybody at all can go to enrich him or herself”
Whiles describing commentaries on the matter in the media as unfortunate and blown out of proportion, Dr. Dakura cautioned that issue of such nature needs to be handled in a way that the public will not be fed with wrong information.
Speaking in an interview with The Al-Hajj, the former legislator noted that, a major aspect of the country’s democratic process is how the use of money has taken over the political landscape, a development he says turns away experienced men and women who are not financially sound from contributing their quota in terms of representing their constituents.
He was of the view that, holding of political primaries, which involve huge sums of money to elect parliamentary candidates, should be scraped to allow for a system akin to the United Kingdom where individuals with parliamentary ambitions are allowed to serve or understudy MPs before they are given the chance to contest.
The ‘monetization’ of Ghana’s politics the lawmaker said, push MPs go borrowing when they are cash trapped in order to take care of the needs of their constituencies.
The payment of the funds to the MPs has generated lots of debate among the general public with some people questioning the timing of the payment citing the current labor agitation within the educational sector but some of the beneficiaries have justified the payment.
A total of GH˘47 million has been paid by the government as ex- gratia to the 230 Members of Parliament (MPs) who served in the Fifth Parliament of the Fourth Republic.
Out of the amount, the MPs who retained their membership of the House after the December 7, 2012 elections received GH˘276, 000 each, while those who lost their seats were paid GH˘311, 000 each.
Source: Iddrissu A. Jara/Al-Hajj/Ghana
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