PARLIAMENT
PARLIAMENT

Members of Parliament are still angry over low salary levels and threats to boycott President John Evans Atta Mills’ last State of the Nation’s Address in the House on Thursday still loom.

A powerful 10-member delegation from both sides of the House met the President on Wednesday morning in an attempt to douse the raging row over MPs’ conditions of service, but failed to urgently resolve the salary-related grievances of the lawmakers.

Ahead of today’s meeting with the President, MPs were expecting the Ghanaian leader to tell them details of their new salary levels. But after the much anticipated meeting, the President asked the 230-member Ghanaian legislature to form a small subcommittee to which he will release the Prof Ewurama Addy Committee report, which was presented to him last year for study and comments.

The Committee, according to Citi New’s Parliamentary correspondent, Richard Sky, is to be formed before close of next week to go into discussions with the President on the way forward for implementing the section of the recommendations of the Prof Addy Committee’s report relating to MPs.

The under fire Ghana President made the request to the leadership of Parliament at a crisis meeting this morning in a desperate attempt to resolve the raging row over perceived delay in setting new salary levels for lawmakers.

The hurriedly organised meeting came after The Globe newspaper broke news of plans by lawmakers to strike over low pay levels and what one lawmaker called delays in implementing the recommendations of the Presidential Committee on Emoluments, which is thought to have recommended pay rise for MPs.

Although expectations were high ahead of today’s meeting with the Ghanaian leader that the leadership of the House will be given details as to the level of pay rise lawmakers should expect, the outcome of the discussions with the President turned out to be what one legislator called “a clever attempt by the President to buy more time instead of dealing with our worsening conditions of service.”

At a closed-door meeting with the general membership of the House on Wednesday afternoon, MPs were told of the President’s request, sparking renewed anger from agitated lawmakers whose bank accounts have been drained by heavy campaign spending ahead of parliamentary primaries held last year and early this year.

But, according to our correspondent, the agitating MPs were told “in no uncertain terms not to do anything that will embarrass the President.”

Meanwhile our correspondent has also picked up credible information that NPP MPs have resolved to wear funeral clothes to attend tomorrow’s state of the nation’s address to the House by the President. “We will be mourning the gargantuan Woyome judgement debt payout,” a senior member of the Minority group told our correspondent after today’s proceedings.

“We want to show the President we are angry and feel betrayed that he could preside such rot and daylight raid on the national kitty which he had sworn to at all times protect,” the unnamed source added.

“We gave variously addressed press conferences on this Woyome matter but tomorrow will be the very first time we will come face to face with the President since the scandal broke. And we intend to use the opportunity to demonstrate to the President how strongly we feel about his mishandling of the biggest ever financial scandal in the history of this country,” the MP said.

As at the time of filing this report, the leader of the Minority was not available for comment. There was also no immediate reaction from the Majority bench to the plans of the Minority MPs.

Source: citifmonline

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