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Burkina Faso Youth Network Says Lawmakers Pay Cut Not Enough

  • James Butty

FILE - A man shouts as he and others gather at the Place de Nation calling for a civilian democratic transition in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Nov. 2, 2014.

FILE - A man shouts as he and others gather at the Place de Nation calling for a civilian democratic transition in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Nov. 2, 2014.

A civil society leader in Burkina Faso has welcomed a decision by members of that country’s parliament to cut their salaries by 50 percent, from $3,675 per month to $1,936.

The vice president of the National Transitional Council, which was created after mass protests drove President Blaise Compaore from power, said the council was responding to the wishes of the people.

But Issaka Traore, a member of Reseau Barke, a network of youth organizations, said the salary cut should have affected all government institutions.

“I think it’s a good thing that the parliament decided to cut off its own pay. But, one of the biggest arguments made was that we need to cut off the government expenses because there’s no money in the country,” Traore said.

Traore said the biggest disappointment was that some of the people who took part in the uprising against Compaore were the ones arguing to maintain the old salary structure.

“Ministers of the transitional government receive 10 million CFA francs for doing nothing. This is your first day in the cabinet, and you are being given 10 million CFA to take home... At the end of the month, you receive more than $3,000 as pay. In addition, you have a car, your wife has a car, and your children have a car,” he said.

Liberia’s newly-elected Senators began work following last December’s special election. According to FrontPage Africa, the 30 senators make around US$12,000 in salary per month, while also receiving more than 250 gallons of petrol plus housing, agriculture and other allowances, all summing up to more than US$15,000.

Kenyan members of parliament are said to be among the highest paid legislators in the world.

Until recently, a Kenyan legislator made $126,000 a year, but the Salaries and Remuneration Commission mandated by the 2010 constitution cut the salaries to $78,500.

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