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Why MPs Die Shortly After Leaving Office – Minority Leader Explains

The Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu, has bemoaned a worrying trend of retired members of Parliament dying shortly after they exit the House. 

According to the Tamale South MP, such deaths had been because Parliament exposed the legislators to lifestyles that they were unable to sustain when they exit.

“This worrying trend of the early deaths of retired parliamentarians…. this means that a lot of them are not able to cope with the post parliament lifestyle” he explained.

But Mr. Iddrisu, who has been in Parliament since January 2009, had an antidote.

Speaking to the topic, “Constitutional amendment and Parliamentary reforms” on GBC News, the MP for Tamale South suggested that the retired parliamentarians be engaged by parliament.

He fell short of stating their job descriptions.

Burden on MPs

As of 2016, Ghanaian MPs receive GHc 19,430 as a salary.

2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
 19,430 17,663 16,057 14,598 14,598

The financial challenges of former MPs have often been fodder for national discourse, as many retired lawmakers lament about their struggles years after leaving office.

The  MPs have often complained about the daily demands on them from their constituents, asking for bursaries that are beyond their(MPs)  pocket.

School fees, funeral contributions, church harvest contributions, wedding contributions, hospital bills for pregnant women are among the endless list of demands on MPs.

While political analysts believe that the demands are payback for the promises the MPs make during campaigns, the Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, Inusah Fuseini, recently described the demands as a drain on the lawmakers, adding that the conditions of service for MPs were terrible.

Most electorates have no sympathetic ears for such cries because of the thousands of cedis MPs received as ex-gratia.

Lasting solution 

To find a lasting solution to the plight of retired lawmakers, the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, who had himself been a two-term MP, charged the House Committee of Parliament to take steps to implement a pension scheme for MPs to cushion them during retirement.

For some of the MPs, they are unable to return to their professions after leaving Parliament.

Please send us your articles for publication via editor@reportghana.com

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