Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has reiterated calls on traditional leaders to avoid direct involvement in partisan politics.
“Once we involve ourselves in partisan politics, it creates problems,” the Asantehene stressed.
According to him, endorsement of political parties tends to undermine the chieftaincy institution.
His call comes after a number of chiefs openly declared their support for some presidential candidates ahead of the 2020 general elections.
The 1992 Fourth Republican Constitution of Ghana categorically places a ban on chiefs from doing politics.
Article 276 of the constitution says: “(1) A chief shall not take part in active party politics, and any chief wishing to do so and seeking election to Parliament shall abdicate his stool or skin; (2) Notwithstanding clause (1) of this article and paragraph (c) of clause (3) of Article 94 of this Constitution, a chief may be appointed to any public office of which he is otherwise qualified.”
Speaking at an engagement with the National House of Chiefs in Kumasi, the Asantehene urged the chiefs to be willing to work with whoever is voted into power but should not openly declare their support for one candidate as against the other.
“We had the chieftaincy institution even before there was democracy in this country. We at times forget our position and do not let people know that we are those politicians should run to for ideas.”
“We are allowed to vote, but we shouldn’t let people know where we belong. Ghana’s laws do not even allow that because the people we rule belong to different political parties. We have to remain neutral.”
“You have to be able to work with the government in power. This will make the chieftaincy institution receive the respect and dignity it deserves,” the Asantehene said.