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Article 71 is obscene and a threat to democracy – Kofi Bentil

The Senior Vice President of Imani Africa says Article 71 is obscene and poses a threat to the country’s democracy.

Joining a discussion on JoyNews’ Newsfile Saturday about spousal emoluments, Mr Kofi Bentil said he disagrees with the view that Article 71, which spells out how to reward certain public officers for their service, is difficult to amend since it requires a referendum.

Article 71 officeholders include the President, the Vice-President, the Speaker of Parliament, the Chief Justice and Justices of the Supreme Court.

The rest are; Members of Parliament (MPs), Ministers of State, political appointees, and public servants with salaries charged to the Consolidated Fund but enjoying special constitutional privileges.


He said reviewing Article 71 should be done before the next general election and should be done every four years.

The private legal practitioner said through the review process, any other entrenched provision in the Article that needs to be reviewed will be amended before the next government takes office.

“I think there’s a solution to this, and it is that all those deemed Article 71 officeholders can get a certain multiple of the minimum wage. So, for example, if the minimum wage is ¢1000, we can give them ten thousand times of it. That way, it will adjust itself automatically as the minimum wage adjusts,” he said.

In a report sighted by myjoyonline.com, Prof. Yaa Baidu-Ntiamoah Emoluments Committee indicated that as of 2016, ordinary public sector workers earned about six per cent of the monthly average salary of Article 71 Office Holders.

With ongoing debates on the roles, the First Lady and the wife of the Vice-president play, Mr Bentil, says they do work, and the work they do must be compensated for.

“They are entitled to something from the state to assist them to do the work that we need them to do. But that is not what we are proposing, as in paying them. Absolutely not.”

Source: myjoyonline.com


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