A private legal practitioner has said chiefs have the right to express themselves on policies of various governments in the country.
Martin Kpebu noted that, despite the Constitution kicking against chiefs actively engaging in partisan politics, they are not completely barred from expressing themselves on national issues or policies.
“There’s no doubt [at all] that where a chief indicates in very clear terms that he prefers one Presidential Candidate over the other then that should form part of active politics but let’s be practical; the chiefs must speak.
“It’s not as if the Constitution envisages in it that the chief cannot speak at all. No! If there’s a policy the chief thinks this policy is good, he may endorse it without necessarily asking people or his subjects to vote,” he said on JoyNews’ NewsDesk, Monday.
This follows concerns raised on a recent trend of chiefs openly engaging in partisan politics.
Some chiefs, including Paramount Chief of Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Area, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin II and Omanhene of Mehame Traditional Area, Nana Owusu Kontoh II openly declared support for some political party Candidates.
At a durbar held in honour of President Akufo-Addo on the second day of his 3-day tour of the Eastern Region, the Okyehene noted that the President has demonstrated that he is, indeed, “a President for all Ghanaians”.
He, therefore, urged Ghanaians to vote him in power to serve another four year term.
Subsequently, Nana Owusu Kontoh II at a durbar at Mehame in the Asutifi South Constituency of the Ahafo Region, also expressed gratitude to former President John Dramani Mahama for ensuring development at Mehame and other communities in the Constituency.
Chief of Dormaa also endorsed the former president during his visit to the Bono region.
Associate Professor at the University of Ghana, Ransford Gyampo, among others, however, have condemned the act.
Prof Gyamfo says chiefs conducting themselves in this manner are gradually eroding their respect and undermining their traditional authority.
He, therefore, said the chiefs must be called to order.
But reacting to these concerns, Martin Kpebu believes chiefs also have the right to express themselves.
He said chiefs can express themselves on policies of political parties without endorsing Candiadates.