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Presidential spouses can be assigned emoluments but qualifying it is inappropriate – Martin Kpebu

Private Legal Practitioner, Martin Kpebu, has opined that presidential spouses can be assigned emoluments, but qualifying the entitlement is problematic.

Speaking on the Super Morning Show, the lawyer noted that qualifying the emoluments such that the wife of a President receives the same money offered a Cabinet Minister, automatically elevates her to the rank of a Cabinet Minister, which is not in line with the constitution.

His comment comes on the back of recommendations by the Prof Ntiamoa-Baidu-led committee on emoluments for Article 71 officeholders.

The committee had recommended that the First Lady be paid an allowance equivalent to a Cabinet Minister who is a Member of Parliament (MP) while her husband is in office and the payment of a salary equivalent to 80% of the salary of a Minister of State who is a Member of Parliament (MP) if the spouse served one full term as President or 100% of the salary of a Minister of State who is a Member of Parliament (MP) if the spouse served two or more full terms as President.

JoyNews/AdomNews · Martin Kpebu On Presidential Spouse Emoluments
The committee further suggested that the Second Lady be paid a salary equivalent to a Cabinet Minister who is not an MP while her husband is in office and the payment of a salary equivalent to 80% of the salary of a Minister of State who is not a Member of Parliament (MP) if the spouse served one full term as President or 100% of the salary of a Minister of State who is a Member of Parliament (MP) if the spouse served two or more full terms as Vice President.

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The decision has since been greeted with massive backlash from the public domain. Subsequently, both First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo and Second Lady, Samira Bawumia have declined the offer.

First Lady rejects allowances, moves to refund ¢899k received since 2017
But touching on the development, Mr Kpebu acknowledged that spouses of presidents, due to their relation with their husbands, assist with various public roles though they are not obliged by law to do so.

In this regard, he recommended that they are offered some emolument.

“To the extent that they practically help the President to execute some of his functions, they can be offered some emoluments,” he said.

He, however, insisted that this should be done transparently.

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