Mr Munir Saani, the Convener of Safe Democracy, has said there is the need for traditional authorities to play a greater role in the affairs of their various assemblies.
He said the current proposition of electing District Chief Executives may not engender to the development of the society if the traditional authorities are not there to maintain a healthy balance between opposing political factions.
A release to the Ghana News Agency signed by Mr Saani, said the decision of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly in settling on a compromise candidate Nana Adu Mensah Asare, the Amakomhene, as the presiding member of the Assembly is an instance of how the role of the traditional authorities cannot be understated in our current political dispensation.
The release said since independence was attained, traditional authorities have continued to play very influential roles in managing the affairs of their localities.
It said there is the need to “consolidate our culture and tradition in the mainstream of our political institutions by revisiting Article 242 (1992), Local Government Act 642 (1993) and the Chieftaincy Act 759 (2000).
The release said Article 39 of the 1992 Constitution states that “subject to clause (2) of this Article, the State shall take steps to encourage the integration of appropriate customary values into the fabric of national life through… conscious introduction of cultural dimensions to relevant aspects of national planning”.
It said should our participatory democracy thrive as expected, then all hands must be on deck and this should include all stakeholders in the development of the society.
The release said in this regard, a section of the stakeholders in the local political environment should be “independent of external influence and interference”.
It said “in a nutshell, Safe Democracy Ghana proposes that 20 per cent membership [of a given local authority] is allocated to the traditional authorities of the given area; 10 percent to the Ghana Peace Council and representatives of political/governmental administration authorities in the district; and 70 per cent should be directly elected from which the District Chief Executive shall be elected.”
The release said the traditional authorities shall then elect the presiding member to govern the affairs of the given society whiles as “custodians of our culture and tradition”, paramount chiefs in given societies could play ceremonial roles in such municipal or local assemblies.
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