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Speaker Bagbin Advocates Constitutional Changes, Inclusion of Traditional Leaders in Parliament

The Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Alban S. K. Bagbin, is pushing for substantial constitutional reforms to integrate traditional leaders—both chiefs and queen mothers—into the national governance structure as members of Parliament. During a recent address to the Queen Mothers Association of Ghana at Parliament, Bagbin emphasized the necessity of creating provisions in the ongoing review of the 1992 Constitution to enable select traditional leaders to qualify for parliamentary positions.

Bagbin cited successful models from countries like Botswana and Rwanda, highlighting how the presence of traditional leaders in Parliament could infuse a sense of order and cultural richness into legislative proceedings.

“Governing a nation shouldn’t solely rest in the hands of political parties,” Bagbin asserted, advocating for a non-partisan approach to politics focused on inclusive policy formulation that reflects the interests of all citizens. He stressed the importance of incorporating diverse perspectives in policymaking to ensure comprehensive buy-in during implementation.

Reflecting on Ghana’s historical trajectory, Bagbin lamented that the country’s independence saw a misplaced emphasis on politicians as the sole leaders, overlooking the influential role of traditional leaders recognized even during the pre-independence era by colonial powers.

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Nana Otubea II, President of the Queen Mothers Association and Queen mother of the Nkonya Traditional Area, expressed concerns about the exclusion of queen mothers in decision-making at regional and national houses of chiefs. She highlighted the discriminatory nature of the current constitutional definition of “chief,” which limits the use of the term to their male counterparts, leaving queen mothers sidelined in crucial governance roles.

The association is actively seeking clarification and a reinterpretation of the term “chief” in the constitution to rectify this bias, advocating for the inclusion of queen mothers in decision-making bodies at regional and national levels.

Bagbin’s call for constitutional reforms and the Queen Mothers Association’s pursuit of equal recognition in governance signal a significant push toward a more inclusive and representative political landscape in Ghana.

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