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CDD boss slams decision to pay first and second ladies

CDD boss slams decision to pay first and second ladies

The Executive Director of CDD, Professor Henry Kwesi Prempeh, has expressed concerns over the decision of Parliament to approve the payment of salaries to the First and Second ladies.

The approval by Parliament has formalized the payment of remuneration to the spouses of the President and Vice President who are placed on allowances until now.

The recommendation was made by a five-member committee which was set up in June 2019 by President Akufo-Addo to make recommendations to him and to Parliament on the salaries and allowances payable, and the facilities and privileges available to article 71 officeholders.

Commenting on the development, the CDD boss said: “The Constitution does not require or compel a President or Vice President to have a spouse; bachelors and bachelorettes are welcome.

“If Government wants to pay First and/or Second Spouses from the public fisc, it must introduce a Bill to that effect. The clear import of Articles 108 and 178 of the Constitution is that Parliament cannot, on its own accord, initiate or approve payment of any such emoluments (which would necessarily be paid from public funds) without a bill to that effect emanating from and introduced by the Government and duly passed into law.

“The political class cannot use the Article 71 process to smuggle in salaries or allowances for First and Second Spouses”.

The committee also recommended an increment in the salaries of article 71 office holders.

Below are details of the statement by Professor Kwesi Prempeh

The mandate of an Article 71 Emoluments Committee is limited to recommending the salaries and other benefits and privileges of those office holders specified in Article 71, sections (1) and (2).

That list of office holders is exhaustive.

The Article 71 Emoluments Committee has no authority to recommend payment of any allowance or emolument to First or Second Spouses, as these are not Article 71 offices or office holders.

And, of course, the Constitution does not require or compel a President or Vice President to have a spouse; bachelors and bachelorettes are welcome.

If Government wants to pay First and/or Second Spouses from the public fisc, it must introduce a Bill to that effect.

The clear import of Articles 108 and 178 of the Constitution is that Parliament cannot, on its own accord, initiate or approve payment of any such emoluments (which would necessarily be paid from public funds) without a bill to that effect emanating from and introduced by the Government and duly passed into law.

The political class cannot use the Article 71 process to smuggle in salaries or allowances for First and Second Spouses.

If that’s what they want done, they must get the Government to introduce a Bill to that effect, and thereby allow and ensure public participation in the legislative debate on this matter.

Anyway, why stop at First and Second Spouses?

Why not the Third Spouse (since the Speaker gets to act as President sometimes) or the Fourth (so the Chief Justice, too, can enjoy some marital privileges on the back of taxpayers), and on and on and on.

And while we are at it, shall we also subject First and Second Spouses to the asset declaration law?

Indeed, when we place First and Second Spouses on the public payroll, we, essentially, convert their roles into “public offices” as that term is understood under Article 295.

Is that the idea?

Source: CelebritiesBuzzGh.Com | CDD boss slams decision to pay first and second ladies

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