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The Parochial self-Interest Of Politicians In Ghana - The Motivation Behind Article 71


As Ghana celebrates three decades of the existence of the 1992 constitution, there is a need to look back at the progress that has been made and the challenges that still remain

According to political experts, Article 71 of the 1992 constitution is a serious threat to the democracy of Ghana, as it gives the president the authority to determine the salaries and allowances of the legislature and judiciary based on recommendations from a committee set up by the President on the advice of the Council of state and also Parliament, based on recommendations from the same committee set up by the president, is given authority to determine the salaries for the executive arm of government (i.e. the President, Vice President, Ministers of State and Council of States) and other political appointees. Transparency has always been an issue in this process since most of the appointees whose salaries are decided are the same people with the power to approve them. “Who no like better things”

As a result of this provisions, politicians and other political appointee can influence the amount of salary they receive, allowing them to earn more money than other public sector workers. `“Monkey dey work, baboon they chop”

Unlike other sections of the constitution which are entrenched, Article 71 does not have entrenched provisions, and therefore makes it easy to be amended without a referendum. However, because of the parochial self-interest of politicians, despite numerous calls from individuals and civil society organizations for amendments, we still have this canker in our constitution.

As we mark 30 years of constitutional rule, the time has come for government to show its dedication to safeguarding our democracy by amending Article 71 of the constitution to grant the Fair Wages and Salary Commission the authority in setting the salaries of all Article 71 office holders. This would make the process more Transparent, Fair, and Accountable.

Content created and supplied by: Emma.Opare (via Opera News )

Council of States Ghana

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