For as long as the Constitution bars chiefs from engaging in politics, they cannot add their voices to campaign activities and endorsement of political parties of elections this year, Alban Bagbin, the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, has said.
He told Berla Mundi on the New Day show on TV3 Tuesday, October 13 that all the traditional leaders endorsing political parties are infringing on the laws of the land.
Chiefs and queens have over the years been endorsing political parties and their candidates for elections.
This development has attracted flak from political scientists and election observers who indicate that the traditional leaders by doing so are violating the laws of the land.
Others have also said that the law must be amended to allow them partake in politics.
Campaign manager for the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) Peter Mac Manu has said it is about time the country considered amendment of the law which bars chiefs and traditional leaders from actively engaging in partisan politics.
According to him, times have changed and traditional rulers like other Ghanaians have the right to engage in politics.
In joining his party’s flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to file his nominations last Tuesday, Mr Mac Manu said: “The chiefs have been doing this since 1992. If anything at all the nation, the citizenry must find a way of meeting the National House of Chiefs to have a discussion on it. Democracy and democratic practices like elections is a journey.
“Along the journey, there might be some curves which may need to be sharpened. So for now if there is anything wrong we have to sharpen it.
“It is a long journey so there might be the need for some changes along the way. So coming from 1992 if the chiefs’ role has changed [and] there be the need to fine tune it, why not? We can do it by an amendment of the law or the constitution as the case may be.”
Sharing his perspectives on this development, Mr Bagbin, who is Member of Parliament for Nadowli\Kaleo Constituency, said: “The constitution say they should not participate in politics so when you come out like that and talk you are definitely infringing the provision of the constitution.
“We know institutions like the [chieftaincy] there is no neutrality by virtue of the positions we hold, you are compelled by law to act impartially not neutrally but impartially.
“The people should not see you to be supporting one position against the other because you need a multitude of people too who belong to various political parties.”