Legal practitioner calls for adherence of Article 71 of 1992 Constitution

Mr Kwame Twumasi-Awuah,  a legal practitioner, said the emoluments contained in Article 71 of the 1992 Constitutions, which, among other packages, enjoins the state to build houses for ex-presidents of the country should rather be improved upon to prevent the “creation of tyranny and despots”.

Last week, President John Evans Atta-Mills proposed to the Professor Ewurama Addy Committee, which was set up to deal with the issue of emoluments for Article 71 office holders, to scrap the current arrangement that enjoins the state to build houses for former presidents.

The President recommended that rent allowances should rather be paid to former presidents to cater for their accommodation, beginning from the end of tenure of office.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on Friday, Mr Twumasi-Awuah said; “It will not be dignifying for former presidents to look for their own accommodation after serving the country.

“The framers of the Constitution did so for a purpose,” adding “emoluments in the Article 71 will inspire sitting presidents to leave after serving their term of office”.

Mr Twumasi-Awuah, former Sunyani Municipal Chief Executive under the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration, explained that it would be more economical and dignified if the state built befitting houses for former presidents instead of giving them rent allowances.

“Now conditions in the country are not static and if the government should decide to give rent allowances to ex-presidents it will cause the nation dearly,” he said.

Mr Twumasi-Awuah said all the country’s resources were given to presidents to take care of and that if their conditions of service and other entitlements were not good enough, corruption would set in.

He, however, called on all Ghanaians not to view this matter of great national interest with political lenses.

Meanwhile, some residents the GNA spoke with explained that the package of two houses and a number of cars aside other entitlements in the Article 71 for former Presidents was too expensive, while  others said the former leaders deserved them for their dignity and comfort.

Source: GNA

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