Social Media Sounds Off On MPs Requesting GHS 600K As Ex Gratia

Parliament of Ghana via Commonwealth Parliamentary Association

In Ghana, we have seasonal debates about the same issues.

When the rain starts, we debate and call out politicians about flooding – this happens every year.

Now, every four years we shout about the huge amounts of money paid to MPs and all the members of the Article 71 officeholders at the end of their term.

That money is called ex gratia and every four years we have a debate about this and end it after a week or two.

The term ex gratia, though it is used in legal terms is not an obligatory type of payment. ‘Ex gratia’ is Latin for ‘favor’. It’s along the same lines of giving someone a tip.

It is paid to satisfy a moral obligation rather than one that is a legal requirement.

However, the Ghanaian lawmakers (MP) have written the payment of ex gratia into the constitutional framework of the country which, in a sense, defeats the true meaning of the term “ex gratia”.

With the 7th parliament being dissolved just before the stroke of midnight on January 6, all the MPs including those who won their reelection and would be returning to the 8th parliament that would be in session at the stroke of midnight on January 7, want to be paid GHS 600,000 as ex gratia.

This has enraged a lot of social media users who are basically calling for a major review of the practice.

More citizenry participation before the end of a parliamentary cycle can help address this seasonal debate.


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