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Political Endorsement: Traditional rulers must be neutral – Dep. Chieftaincy Minister

Essien Paul MPDeputy Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Paul Essien

Thu, 8 Oct 2020 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

The Deputy Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Paul Essien, has called on traditional rulers to be neutral in a time where several of them have openly endorsed political candidates and parties.

According to Mr. Essien, the constitution of Ghana bans chiefs from openly participating in politics adding that such endorsement is contrary to the country's constitution.

Speaking in a radio interview on Thursday, October 8, 2020, the Deputy Minister of Chieftaincy stated that he “actually support the course that, they (traditional ruler) should be neutral.”

As captured in Article 276 of the 1992 Constitution, “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 Minister explained that “Political parties in one way or the other want to be pushing some chiefs to be able to speak for them… they believe that when they get their support it will go in their advantage that is basically what is happening now”

There has been a debate on whether or not an endorsement of a political candidate by a chief could be termed as actively partaking in politics on the path of the traditional rulers.

The two main presidential candidates in the 2020 elections have fairly received a number of traditional rulers openly campaigning for them.

Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, is among the chiefs who have thrown their height behind the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

The NDC's John Dramani Mahama has also been endorsed by the Dormaa Traditional Council, Osagyefo Oseadeeyo Agyemang-Badu II.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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