Chiefs must be free to talk politics – Fmr. MCE

A former Municipal Chief Executive for Akuapem North Dennis Aboagye says traditional leaders must be free to contribute to political discourse.

Some chiefs including the Okyehene and the Dormaahene have been criticized by a section of the public for endorsing the NPP and the NDC respectively.

Article 276 of the 1992 constitution bars traditional leaders from engaging in active partisan politics.

The ruling NPP maintains endorsements from chiefs cannot be classified as engaging in active party politics.

Mr Aboagye noted on the Morning Starr Monday that the chiefs are simply playing their part in nation-building.

He said “the chiefs should be allowed to contribute to the discourse. If I listen to what Okyenhene, Dormaahene, and Otumfuo said, I don’t see any partisan about it.”

“I think the chiefs are playing their part. I am yet to see a chief who is wearing a party T-Shirt and involved in active party politics.”

But a member of the NDC communications team Benjamin Essuman says his reading of the Okyenhene’s endorsement is that he is a direct beneficiary so he’s defending his turf.

Meanwhile, former United Nations Advisor on Governance Prof. Baffour Agyeman-Duah says the constitutional provision that bans chiefs from active politics is not enforceable.

According to him, the law failed to consider the cultural disposition of traditional leaders as political leaders of their subjects.

Speaking to Francis Abban on the Morning Starr Monday, Prof. Baffour said chiefs must be given the leeway to do politics if they cannot respect the constitution.

“I think it is in the best interest of chiefs themselves to stay out of politics. If the chiefs are not respecting it, then let’s give them the leeway so they take the consequences after engaging in politics. The law does not appear to be working, they themselves do not respect the law banning them from active politics.

Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/103.5FM

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