General News Fri, 5 Mar 2004

What I receive here is chicken feed - Speaker

Ala Adjetey Unsure Of Second Term

The Speaker of Parliament Peter Ala Adjetey says he is unsure whether he would accept another term to the House if he were nominated to that position after the December general elections.

He told JoyFM?s current affairs program FrontPage that as a politician, it would be unwise to say ?never ever? but said too that a yes was not on his mind now.

In a wide ranging interview that touched on life as a speaker, the challenges of leading the legislature and general politics in Ghana, Mr Ala Adjetey said he has found the role of speaker both challenging and fulfilling.

?I never expected to become speaker. My primary concern was to help my party win power but once the opportunity of to serve in this position and help entrench the culture of democracy, I found it interesting enough?, he said.


And in typical fashion, the former New Patriotic Party chairman stoutly defended his 15,000-dollar vacation paid for by the Ghanaian taxpayer and his call that members of parliament be paid much more than they are receiving.

He said he finds it difficult to believe why people should question his vacation for instance when it was raised by a contributor to the show.

?When I was in private practice as a lawyer, I could afford a holiday to anywhere in the world. With every job, there are pecks you deserve. I have to say frankly that what I receive here is chicken feed. There is nothing that I am receiving as Speaker that I wasn?t earning before so I don?t understand what the big deal is.?

The Speaker also said he thought governance at the district level was undemocratic when asked about any constitutional amendment he would want to see. ?It is removed from the people. It is sham pretence for us to suggest that district level elections must not be done on political lines because everything else we do is political based. Members of the district assembly must be elected and so must the district chief executive who I don?t think must be appointed by anyone.?

Source: Joy Online
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