AMAN: Suspended pensions of some members of the Palestinian Legislative Council on grounds of their political affiliation is a form of political corruption
الثلاثاء | 29/01/2019 - 04:11 PM

Ramallah – In a letter it sent to the Minister of Finance on 30 January 2019, the Coalition for Accountability and Integrity (AMAN) stressed the need to immediately pay pensions to member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) on pain of legal prosecution both in present and in the future. In their capacity as elected representatives of the Palestinian people, PLC members’ legal and constitutional rights should be honoured.

According to AMAN, unpaid pensions to some PLC members is a prominent instance of political corruption. The Supreme Constitutional Court rendered a declaratory judgement, ruling for the dissolution of the PLC and resulting in salary cuts and payment of pensions to PLC members. However, AMAN was surprised by the suspension of pension payments to PLC members of the Reform and Change Bloc, independent PLC members, and others deemed to be affiliated with Mohammed Dahlan. Arousing their ire, these PLC members resorted to, and requested legal advocacy and advice from, AMAN. It should be noted that this was not the first time salaries of some opposition PLC members were severed. A public legal justification of suspended pensions was never provided by the Ministry of Finance. The Ministry reported to some PLC members, whose pensions have been cut, that this was due to a “technical failure, which may take a long time.”

In its letter to the Minister of Finance, AMAN indicated that pension is a basic legal entitlement of PLC members. It is already partly deducted from their own salaries. Pension is safeguarded by the Law on the Rights and Duties of Members of the Palestinian Legislative Council No. 10 of 2004. Article 17 of this Law provides that “[w]ithout prejudice to rights:
1. The member or his heirs thereafter shall be entitled to an amount that is equal to 12.5 percent of each year he spent at work up to a maximum of 80 percent of the total amount allocated for the monthly honorarium, linked to the cost of living index, and paid on a monthly basis as soon as his membership of the Council terminates upon the expiry of his term, death, inability to perform his tasks, or resignation.

2. The honorarium mentioned under Paragraph 1 above may not be combined with any salary or pension benefits disbursed from the account of the Public Treasury.”

On the other hand, salary suspension on grounds of political affiliation and views is a clear discrimination and violation of Article 9 of the Amended Basic Law, which confirms that “Palestinians shall be equal before the law and the judiciary, without distinction based upon race, sex, colour, religion, political views or disability [emphasis added].”




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