The Speaker of Parliament, Alban S. K. Bagbin wants the inclusion of chiefs, queen mothers and other traditional leaders in the governance structure.
He said this during an address to the Queen Mothers Association of Ghana on Friday, December 8, 2023, at his office in Parliament.
Bagbin emphasized the need for the ongoing review of the 1992 Constitution to designate areas that would allow traditional leaders to qualify for parliamentary roles.
He pointed to other countries that have adopted this style stating, “Countries like Botswana and Rwanda have gotten it right. The presence of these traditional leaders brings sanity and discipline into the House [Parliament] and contributes to enhancing our rich culture.”
Bagbin added, "Governance is not solely about political parties; it cannot be left in the hands of politicians alone.”
He encouraged the queen mothers to actively engage in the political discourses, asserting that politics should focus on formulating policies that consider the interests of all citizens.
He stressed the importance of incorporating diverse perspectives to ensure that policies are inclusive and representative of the entire population.
Bagbin highlighted that the historical trajectory of governance in Ghana involved a shift in focus from traditional leaders to politicians after gaining independence.
He noted that even during the pre-independence era, the colonial powers recognized traditional leaders as the true leaders of the country, ruling indirectly through them.
Nana Otubea ll, the President of the Queen Mothers Association and Queen Mother of the Nkonya Traditional Area, expressed concern about the exclusion of queen mothers in decision-making processes at regional and national houses of chiefs.
She criticized the constitution's bias, which allows only male counterparts to be recognized as "chiefs" and called for a re-evaluation.
The Queen Mothers Association is seeking clarification and interpretation of the term "chief" in the constitution, arguing that the current practices are discriminatory and relegate queen mothers to the background.