Transfer of Power to a New Administration in Ghana’s Democratic System: The Way Forward
Lydia Apori Nkansah
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology - Faculty of Law
March 1, 2012
This paper examines the transfer of power to a new administration in Ghana’s democratic system. Since independence in 1957, Ghana’s attempts at democracy failed due to successive coups d’état. Ghana succeeded in changing government through the ballot box for the first in 2001 when the National Patriotic Party (NPP) emerged a winner in the 2000 general elections and took the political baton from the National Democratic Congress (NDC). The wheels of power turned when the NDC won the 2008 elections and took over the political baton from the NPP in January 2009, a sign of democratic consolidation. However, the experiences of the transitions for these two democratic successions smacked of military take over, leaving in their trails ‘acrimony, tension and ill-feeling’. Difficulties with transition and succession are creating instability and impeding the development of a fully functioning democracy in Ghana. Stronger legal foundations for more orderly transfer of power are being put in place, though these need to be supported by impartial police enforcement and right of judicial redress to ensure that these laws are respected and injustices are addressed. The polarisation and rancour of transition may also be eased by a briefer period between election and assumption of office. There may also be a case for moving away from the ‘winner takes all’ nature of the Ghanaian system by increasing the separation between executive and legislature and possibly introducing less polarised proportional representation. The underlying requirement is greater respect for political opponents and their rights within a safe and vibrant democratic system.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 43
Keywords: Constitutional democracy, Democratic succession, Democratic transition, Ghana, Presidential succession, Transfer of powerworking papers series
Date posted: March 1, 2012
© 2013 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
This page was processed by apollo6 in 0.391 seconds