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General News of Saturday, 16 June 2018


The judiciary, executive not important than parliament – Agyarko to critics of MPs’ car loan

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Energy Minister, Emmanuel Boakye Agyarko has hit back at critics of MPs’ car loan, stating the judiciary and the executive arms of government are not more important than Parliament.

He has thus asked persons who have been criticising Parliament over car loans for Members of Parliament to cease, as in his view, it constitutes denigration of the legislative House.

On the back of the death of a 70-year-old man who needed emergency medical care but was rejected by seven major hospitals in Accra on grounds of ‘No Beds’, some have been questioning the priority of government.

Some critics have questioned why the various governments have been spending on MPs and their officials while our health system and other sectors requiring urgent attention have been relegated to the background.

They have reignited the MP’s car loan issue, which generated headlines last year and condemned government for its lack of priorities.

Last year, parliament was reported to be considering the approval of a 22.5 million-dollar loan facility for the purchase of vehicles for all the 275 MPs in the country.

Each MP was expected to receive about 80,000 dollars to be repaid within four years.

In a Facebook post Friday, a law professor, H. Kwasi Prempeh, questioned the constitutionality of parliament in using its powers to approve private loans for its members to procure vehicles for official duties.

Parliament, he argued does not have the power to approve private loan facilities between any individual, regardless of his employment or employer, and a private lender.

But commenting on the post, Mr. Agyarko who the Member of Parliament for Ayawaso West Wuogon, said “this denigration of Parliament as an arm of government must stop”.

He averred that the executive and the judiciary which are the other arms of government as part of their conditions of service are supplied vehicles at no cost to them but wondered why in the case of parliamentarians they are made to take loans.

“Parliamentarians as another arm of government have to take out loans to procure vehicles for official use,” he indicated, adding “I submit that one arm of government cannot be more important than another”.

Mr. Agyarko thus said, “…It is time we stop treating Parliament as the whipping boy of our democratic enterprise”.

He contended that democracy is expensive and suggested that if the people of are not willing to fund it, then the nation should shutdown the institutions that it does not want.

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