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Payment of Salaries to Presidential Spouses Unconstitutional, Supreme Court Declares

The suits though filed separately, challenged a previous decision by Parliament to adopt recommendations of a report that sought to pay salaries to presidential spouses as is done for Article 71 holders.

The Supreme Court has declared that the decision to pay spouses of the president and vice president salaries or any emoluments is unconstitutional.

A seven-member panel of the highest court said in its judgment today, April, 24, after concluding two cases filed by the NDC Member of Parliament for South-Dayi, Rockson Nelson Dafeamekpor, and NPP’s Bono Regional Chairman, Kwame Baffoe Abronye.

The suits though filed separately, challenged a previous decision by Parliament to adopt recommendations of a report that sought to pay salaries to presidential spouses as is done for Article 71 holders.

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That report was issued by the Prof Ntiamoa-Baidu-led committee, which was set up by President Akufo-Addo in 2019 to make recommendations to him and Parliament on the salaries, allowances, and privileges available to Article 71 officeholders, as well as other matters deemed appropriate to its work.

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The work of the committee was in fulfillment of provisions under Article 71, which allows the president to set up a committee before the end of his or her four-year term, charging it to make recommendations on emoluments for Article 71 officeholders.

When the committee completed its work, it recommended, among other things, that a provision be made for emoluments to be paid to the spouses of the president and the vice president – payments equivalent to what is paid to a Cabinet Minister or MP depending on the number of terms their husbands served.

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But that decision was not welcomed by the public and drew criticism from civil society organisations, therefore leaving Parliament to suspend any official payments even though it approved the committee’s report in 2021.

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