Members of Parliament have expressed disappointment in president John Mahama over issues concerning their conditions of service.
Members of Parliament (MPs) are unhappy with how the Mahama government is handling issues concerning their conditions of service.
Currently, they (MPs) are being paid on account rather than knowing exactly how much they should receive as per the provisions of Article 71 of the Constitution.
This situation exists because the President is yet to set up a committee to review the conditions of service for Article 71 office holders as stipulated in the Constitution.
The Article says their expenditure charge on the consolidated fund shall be determined by the President on the recommendation of a committee of not more than five persons appointed by the President acting on advice of the Council of State.
Sharing his thoughts on the matter, a private legal practitioner, Lawyer Yaw Oppong in an interview on Eyewitness News indicated that the President must be given the benefit of the doubt because it is unclear whether the Council of State has advised the President yet.
“I will give the President the benefit of the doubt since that duty was not imposed on him alone but together with the Council of State,” he remarked.
He mentioned that per the nation’s constitution, in the term of every President, a committee must be set up to review the salaries and emoluments of Article 71 holders “especially because a Member of Parliament for this particular Parliament may not become a Member of Parliament for the next Parliament…so it becomes necessary that for each term of Parliament and each term of the President, that committee would have to be set up.”
Lawyer Oppong was quick to clarify that the committee is not mandated to always increase the salaries and allowances of Article 71 holders.
“A review may not necessarily mean that you reduce it or increase it. They can even maintain it in view of the circumstances of the economy at a particular point in time,” he explained.
He however recommended that whatever the last Parliamentarians were receiving, the current MPs Parliamentarians and all Article 71 holders should continue to receive it “whether or not in their view it’s not enough because I don’t think that any part of the economy is getting enough of the cake.”
Lawyer Oppong added that MPs are better placed to “cry their own cry…because they have all powers in law to compel the Executive to act in their benefit.”