Blame Parliament for spouses emoluments uproar—Yaw Oppong

A private legal practitioner, Yaw Oppong, has blamed Parliament for the controversy and public outrage over the recommendation by the Professor Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu Emoluments Committee for presidential spoauses to be paid monthly salaries.

He stated that the committee’s mandate extended to only making recommendations and it was for a body such as Parliament to review the proposals and approve or reject them.

Mr Oppong explained that Parliament’s main duty concerning the report was to ensure the public purse was not being overburdened and must be blamed “if citizens raise concerns about cost of recommendation to the state and committee only makes recommendations.

“We should blame the report from Parliament which is to check some provisions and others that we think are overburdening the public purse however, I do not support spouses of former or current presidents and vice presidents should specifically be given monies by the state and there is a need for finality to be brought to the issue and must be done urgently.

“I find it interesting such allowances have consistently been paid to past and current presidential spouses since 2001 when former President Agyekum Kufuor assumed office and good gesture some beneficiaries of allowances have returned them to state coffers, I am happy some have seen the need to return it which is a personal choice and personal decision,” Mr Oppong pointed out.

Mahama Ayariga, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central in the Upper East Region, also faulted Parliament for accepting recommendation made by the committee and indicated that legislators should have quickly seen the mistake by the committee, which went beyond its mandate to make recommendation and raise concerns about it.

“The committee set up by the president brought recommendation, we as parliamentarians, especially those of us who are knowledgeable in constitutional law, should have noticed and blocked, but it passed through us, so we are at fault,” he maintained. –

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