Flagbearer hopeful of the New Patriotic Party, NPP, Kwabena Agyepong, has advocated for the payment of ex-gratia every four years to Article 71 officeholders to be scrapped immediately.
He stated in an interview with Accra-based Joy News that the country does not have the financial resources to support such payments.
Agyepong contended that persons such as Members of Parliament can be given “something little” after serving their terms in office but it should not be in the current lump sum even for MPs who return to Parliament.
He listed the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin together with Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu (Majority Leader and Suame MP) and Kobina Tahir Hammond (Adansi Asokwa MP) as people who have benefited greatly from payment of ex-gratia over the years due to their long stay in the legislature.
He said such payment were not right on any moral standing stressing that it should halt with immediate effect.
“Ex-gratia should be like a parachute payment. When you have served your country like a member of Parliament…it’s a difficult assignment. I would say it is like marriage. When you elevate a lady to certain level as a wife and you want to leave, that’s why they let you pay alimony.
“You have to support her. You cannot allow her just to drop because you are leaving. That’s not right. It is not fair. You make somebody an honorable Member of Parliament, he served when he is going home, something little. Maybe he can take the car away,” the former NPP General Secretary said on October 6.
“…not after every four years. I never understood that. If you are coming back it cannot be ex-gratia. I see the Speaker and the likes of Kyei Mensah, they must have benefited a lot. My good friend KT Hammond…that is not right. It cannot be right on any moral standing. We should stop it immediately. We don’t have the money as a country,” he added.
Mahama, NPP “clash” over payment of ex-gratia
Former President Mahama while speaking to a gathering of NDC lawyers pledged to implement recommendations of the Constitutional Review Committee as well as review ex-gratia payments in the next NDC administration
“The next NDC government must commit to the implementation of the review of the 1992 Constitution, which was begun by President John Evans Atta Mills of blessed memory. This review should among others aim at reforming the judiciary and tackle head-on issues on ex-gratia payments and other matters of Article 71 emoluments” Mahama said.
Bono Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kwame Baffoe, popularly known as Abronye DC, however, said Mahama benefited from ex-gratia payment to the tune of GH¢14 million in 2013 – a claim the office of the former president has denied.
Abronye DC also said Mahama cannot scrap the payment of ex-gratia because he “loves ex-gratia more than his wife Lordina”.
The NPP in press conference also said the promise by Mahama was mere political rhetoric aimed at swaying voters.
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