THE ASANTEHENE, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has warned traditional rulers in Ghana, particularly, Ashanti Region, to desist from getting directly involved in partisan politics in the upcoming 2016 national elections.
He observed that political parties usually called on chiefs and local leaders to openly declare their support for them during durbars and open festivals, which he said was against the spirit of the constitution.
Recently, a Sunyani chief declared that the ruling NDC was going to get 80 percent of votes in the 2016 elections and that President Mahama needed not to bother for support for his presidential bid in Brong Ahafo region. Nana Bosoma was praising the President for performing well in terms of development when President Mahama paid a courtesy call on him.
Otumfuo reminded the chiefs that they needed to maintain their respect in society as fathers to all and therefore remain neutral in politics since the constitution does not allow them to openly engage in partisan politics.
Article 276 of the 1992 Constitution says 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.
The Asantehene, who is the president of the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs, said this when he was officially closing the house for the year 2015 during a sitting at Manhyia in Kumasi.
He acknowledged the fact that chiefs’ counsels would be sort often times, and warned, “but stay away from their politics.”
The immediate past president of the Brong Ahafo Regional House of chiefs, Osahene Kwaku Aterkyi II had previously advised colleague chiefs to desist from publicly declaring support for political politicians.