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Politics | Economy - Development
Ghanaians criticise lavish packages for former presidents
afrol News, 20 January - Ghanaians are angered by the parliament's approval of lavish benefits for the outgoing president John Kufour, saying it would be too much a burden on the ailing national purse.
The package gives each former president two furnished houses, six chauffeur-driven cars, a tax-free payment linked to time served in office, as well as money for entertainment and foreign travel.
Critics have said the presidents' demands were unfortunate, saying it would be a burden to a struggling country. The lavish packages were approved by the outgoing parliament during its last sitting on 6 January, but still await a final signoff by the country's new president, John Atta-Mills.
The presidents would also benefit from one overseas holiday of up to 45 days yearly rising to 65 days for those who served two consecutive terms. Mr Kufour also requested that he be paid 18 months' salary for each year he served as president. The basic monthly salary for a president in Ghana is around US$6,400.
Critics have termed the package as scandalous in a country where the average factory worker earns just US$120 a month.
President Atta-Mills' new government, voted into office early this month, has said the country is broke and accused the outgoing government of having gone on a pre-election spending spree.
Ghanaian newly elected president Atta Mills was sworn into office on 7 January following a slight victory in the runoff election. It was the closest election in the West African country's history with the new president having won with a margin of less than 1 percent of the vote.
The proposed retirement packages would apply to all constitutionally elected presidents, including those already out of office when the measure was approved.
By staff writer
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