“Ex-gratia not exclusive to MPs”- Bagbin clarifies

News Politics

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has emphasized that ex-gratia payments are not exclusive to Members of Parliament (MPs).

According to him, these payments, often misunderstood, extend to a broader range of public servants and political officeholders, including ministers of state, the judiciary, and heads of constitutional commissions.

Speaker Bagbin clarified that ex-gratia payments, which he prefers to refer to as gratuity, were originally instituted to curb corruption by ensuring that public servants and political officeholders had their post-service needs met. This, in turn, was supposed to encourage them to prioritize the interests of the people over personal gain.

“The issue of ex-gratia is a very thorny issue,” Bagbin stated. “The founders envisaged a situation where they wanted some particular category of public servants, including political officeholders, to be assured that after their office, we will take care of them. So it was to assist us to contain corruption,” the speaker was quoted.

However, Bagbin acknowledged that the original intention behind these payments has not been realized. In practice, the payments have not effectively curbed corruption as intended.

He expressed his support for amending Article 71 of the Constitution to abolish ex-gratia payments, arguing that they have become unnecessary.

“Unfortunately, in practice, it has not served its purpose,” he admitted.

“It has not been able to assist us to curb or contain corruption. I agree totally with anybody who comes to say that we should do away with Article 71 of the Constitution. It hasn’t served its purpose; there’s no use maintaining it,”he said.

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