May 20, 2024

The Benkumhene of Techiman Traditional Area who doubles as Forikromhene, Okogyeman Kese Basahyia II has lauded the Supreme Court’s ruling against chiefs engaging in partisan politics.

According to him, the ruling clarifies what chiefs can and cannot do when politicians visit their area.

In a unanimous ruling last week, the Supreme Court established that any chief, who publicly or covertly urges his subjects to support a specific political party, has violated Article 276(1) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana by engaging in “active party politics.”

The verdict was rendered in response to a request from an LLM student requesting that the Apex Court use its original jurisdiction to clarify what is meant by active party politics by a Chief under Article 276 Clause 1.

According to Okogyeman Kese Basahyia II, “most chiefs were unable to ascertain what was constitutional or not as they didn’t really have the full understanding of the Article 276 Clause 1”.

He also emphasized there is a difference between a chief endorsing the candidature of a politician and a chief lauding the policy of a government or a politician.

He then contended that the Supreme Court’s current interpretation of what chief participation in active politics means “is now very clear and devoid of ambiguity.”

He, therefore, advised that “chiefs, as leaders of the community, need to be guarded in what they say.”

He said chief’s commands respect and once you involve yourself with politicians; your subjects will not give the maximum respect because they all belong to different political parties.

Source: Blankson