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General News of Monday, 12 October 2020

Source: 3 News

Martin Kpebu dismisses suggestions law barring chiefs in politics must be changed

Constitutional lawyer Martin Kpebu has rejected suggestions from some quarters that the laws of the land should be changed to allow chiefs and traditional leaders engage in active partisan politics in Ghana.

Mr Kpebu said if that is done, it will be horrible for the country.

He explained in an interview with TV3 Sunday, October 11 that the country was faced with several problems when in the past chiefs were allowed to engage in partisan.

Chiefs and traditional leaders, he noted, are supposed to be unifiers therefore meddling in political affairs will create deeper problems for the country.

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.

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.

Mr Mac Manu said these while speaking in an interview with TV3’s Komla Adom after joining his party’s flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in filing his nominations on Tuesday, October 6.

He 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 Kpebu said: “Our past has shown that in times when they were involved in partisan politics it was horribly bad.

“They become divisive candidates rather than being unifiers in their communities. It actually behoves on the chiefs to restrain themselves.”

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