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12.02.2009 Politics

Freddie Blay to join others to go to court over ex-gratia

By myjoyonline
Freddie Blay to join others to go to court over ex-gratia


A former First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Freddie Blay says he will join his colleagues to legally contest the proposed review of their ex-gratia benefits.

The president has directed that former Members of Parliament be paid four months' salary for each year served.

That is in contravention of the five months' accumulated salary for each year served, recommended by Chinery-Hesse Committee report on emoluments.

The reduction by one month has angered some MPs culminating in a threat by the former Majority Leader, Mr. Abraham Osei Aidoo to go to court to challenge the review.

He argued the president had no constitutional mandate to review the benefits of former MPs.

Mr. Blay has indicated he will join the likes of Mr. Osei Aidoo to battle the president's decision.

Speaking to Joy FM's Super Morning Show host Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the former CPP MP for Ellembele said the package was not compared to what is being taken by MPs in other African countries such as Togo, Nigeria, Uganda, Gambia and others.

“(The review) is misconceived, that is my position and maybe it is to satisfy a certain bandwagon of shrill critics…if you are not careful and you want to push the Constitution aside you going to back to the days of military dictatorship.”

He said the president has the right to review conditions of service for MPs, doing so with a retrospective effect was unconstitutional.

Speaking to his controversial endorsement of the NPP presidential candidate for the 2008 elections, he said he did no wrong voting for Nana Akufo-Addo.

He said he had worked with NPP in opposition in the fight for widening the frontiers of democracy and enhancing human rights.

According to him, the previous NPP government had improved the economy and ensured that the tenets of democracy existed.

That for him necessitated his providing the government with the needed “critical support” even as a CPP member.

Mr. Blay uncharitably referred to the CPP as “endangered party” arguing the party was not well organized.

How will you assess the performance of president Mills? he was asked, and he said it was too early.

“I won't be in too much of a hurry to pass that kind of judgement (that the president has hit the ground crawling)”.

He expressed regret that the majority of the populace expected government's to work magic in solving problems confronting the country.

Story by Malik Abass Daabu

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