The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu’s balanced style in endorsing both the NDC flagbearer, John Mahama, and flagbearer of the ruling NPP, Nana Akufo-Addo, must be the benchmark for Chiefs in the country, renowned pollster Ben Ephson has stated.
Some chiefs including the Okyehene and the Dormaahene have been criticized by a section of the public for endorsing the NPP and the NDC flagbearers respectively.
Article 276 of the 1992 constitution bars traditional leaders from engaging in active partisan politics.
The ruling NPP maintains endorsements from chiefs cannot be classified as engaging in active party politics.
The Asantehene during a visit by Mr Mahama advised the former president to tell Ghanaians what he did wrong and what he would do differently if re-elected in the upcoming December polls.
The Ashanti King also told President Akufo-Addo that his works in the last four years would speak for him during the elections.
Speaking on the Morning Starr on Tuesday, Mr Ephson stated that the wisdom exhibited by the Asantehene during the visits by the two laeders must be followed by other Chiefs who are openly endorsing presidential candidates in a biased way.
“You’ll be taking a risk when you openly endorse a candidate because the person you are endorsing might not win…and since Ghana practices an executive presidency, your area might be starved of development but if he wins, you are in it,” Mr. Ephson told host Francis Abban adding, “In my view, the Asantehene’s message to both candidates should be the benchmark for all chiefs. Because there’s no chiefdom that the two parties do not get votes.”
“This year’s election is a comparison of records and I think the Otumfuo was pointing out to Mahama ‘let people know what you have done and that he [Mahama] hasn’t marketed himself well so he should do that.”