13.10.2004 General News

MPs worried about their upkeep

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Accra, Oct. 13, GNA - Members of Parliament (MP) on Wednesday expressed concern about their personal benefits, citing poor facilities, reputation and remuneration.

Mr Kosi Kedem, MP for Hohoe South, had issued an urgent statement calling on President John Agyekum Kufuor to act on their salaries, allowances and gratuities.

He quoted Article 71 of the Constitution saying; "for almost four years, MPs have waited patiently on the President to settle the issue of their remuneration.

"This patience is almost exhausted and it is becoming difficult to accept the Majority Leader's appeal and assurances."

He said: "Your Excellency, you will appreciate the fact that some of us are going on retirement and we are anxious to know our fate." Captain Nkrabea Effa Dartey (rtd) NPP- Berekum, said aspiring MPs and the general public should be told about the stress and low remuneration of Parliamentarians.

"Voters do not bother about the pressures on the MP, yet they expect them to attend funerals and other social activities." He asked that the Majority Leader be made to answer before the Assurance Committee on the conditions of the MP.

"Parliament is the foundation of our democracy and no sacrifice is too big to be made to make it more functional."

Mr Norbert Awulley, NDC-Builsa South, said Parliament should invoke Article 69 of the Constitution to call the Council of State to meet to deliberate on the welfare of Parliament and advise the President accordingly.

Mr Kwaku Balado Manu, NPP-Ahafo Ano South, preferred a biblical analogy: "One of the persons who was crucified with Jesus said, he can save others but not himself."

He said Parliament showed more interest in other issues than its own welfare.

Mr Aseidu Nketsia, NDC Wenchi West, said: "Let the lifestyle of the MP stand out and let him be incorruptible."

Mr Felix Owusu Agyapong, the Majority Leader, said he would tell members in camera what efforts were being made to address their concerns.

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