Ghana’s post-independence history has been characterised by long periods of military rule. In the late 1980s, after nearly one decade of quasi-military rule under the PNDC, strong internal and external pressures on government led to the promulgation of a liberal constitution in 1992, and the inauguration of a multiparty democracy that ushered Ghana into its Fourth Republic.
Since 1992, Ghana has held successful multiparty elections. The peaceful transfer of power from the government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) following national elections in December 2000 clearly demonstrate how far Ghana has travelled along the path toward democratic consolidation over the past decade.
Aside fromhaving successful elections, Ghana has made appreciable progress in smultiparty democratic governance within the framework of the 1992 Constitution. To date, there is considerable evidence of political liberalisation that allows Ghanaians to enjoy a much wider range of liberties, rights as well as having a vibrant civil society and a free independent media that is increasingly holding government accountable on behalf of the general public.
Ghana has a vibrant democracy wherein elections are vigorously contested. The elections held are free and fair with high voter participation rates. Two political parties – being the NPP and NDC – have dominated the political scene since 1992. No political party has been able to succeed itself after the mandatory two-term limit of four years each.
Ghana, touted for its democracy and peaceful transfer of power since 1992, experienced its first presidential election dispute in 2012 – which was the sixth election of the country’s fourth republic. When the EC declared John Dramani Mahama winner of the presidential poll, the outcome was disputed by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who was the presidential candidate of the then-main opposition party, NPP. The Election petition case was heard publicly.
In August 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that the president had been validly elected and the petition was dismissed.
Ghana has seen its second presidential election dispute once again in 2020. John Dramani Mahama of the NDC has disputed the outcome of the 2020 election results, and also accused the Electoral Commission Chairperson of being biased in the execution of her role relating to the December 7 election. He again accused the Electoral Commission and its Chairperson and Returning Officer for the Presidential Election of serious violations of the 1992 Constitution.
On March 4, 2021, the Supreme Court gave a final judgement on the 2020 election petition case – which ruled that the president had been validly elected, and the petition was dismissed. The Kandifo Institute takes this opportunity to urge supporters from both the NPP and NDC to focus on the Development Agenda of Ghana.
Supporters of political parties should rather be concerned about how our leaders utilise the resources we have efficiently to achieve rapid economic growth while maintaining integrity. Even though Ghana has been seen as one of the fastest-growing-economy countries, with a government set on attracting investment and tourism, we still have a long way to go in order to attain our set Sustainable Development Goals. No country will develop without peace and stability. We urge all Ghanaians to respect and accept the judgement declared by the Supreme Court.