Ghana and the December Elections
Situated on the west coast of Africa bordered by Togo, the Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and the Atlantic Ocean is Ghana formerly known as the Gold Coast It was known as the Gold Coast because the country could boast of huge quantities of gold deposits.
In a region sadly known for sudden political instability, Ghana is moving gradually from a fledging democracy to a mature democracy. Ghana embarked on this present political dispensation known as the Fourth Republic when the ban on party political activity was lifted and the Fourth Republican Constitution adopted and elections held in 1992 which was won by Flt Lt Jerry Rawlings. Prior to becoming the elected president of Ghana, Flt Lt Jerry Rawlings was the chairman of the PNDC and the military leader or Head of State of Ghana. There have been three successive elections since 1992, in 1996, 2000 and 2004. In 1996 President Jerry Rawlings was re-elected. In 2000, Mr. Kufuor defeated Professor Mills the then Vice president under President Jerry Rawlings to become president. This marked an historic occasion as power was therefore peacefully transferred to a different political party for the first time in the country’s history. In January 2001 President Kufuor was sworn in as president for four years and was re-elected in 2004 defeating Professor John Ata Mills of the NDC again to serve the country for another four more years.
On 7th December 2008 Ghana goes to the polls to elect a new president. Though there are many political parties in Ghana, it seems that the contest is between Nana Akuffo Addo of the ruling NPP and Prof. Atta Mills of the NDC. The third political force consists of parties espousing Nkrumah’s Ideology. But they have been unable to make much impact on the current political dispensation due their inability to unite into one coherent force. This fragmentation has led to their inability to attract the needed support to build a broad appeal for them thereby limiting their electoral chances.
No matter which party wins the elections the fact which can not be disputed will be that Ghana has come of age and the democratic experiment has worked and is still working and the free and vibrant media and the good people of Ghana needs to be commended for entrenching the democratic process.