Ghana: Democratic turbulence

Ghana is preparing for its third multi–party general election and the mood throughout the country is increasingly restless. Ghanaians want change. And with President Jerry Rawlings silencing cynics by stepping down democratically, they seem likely to get it.

The World Today
Published 1 December 2000 Updated 28 October 2020 4 minute READ

Richenda Gambles

Has been working in Ghana as a journalist for the Daily Graphic

There is optimism that the first election of this new millennium on December 7 will be devoid of any suggestion of corruption, vote rigging or intimidation. And for a continent torn by perpetual military threats, that is quite remarkable.

The recent electoral shambles in the Ivory Coast that led to some two hundred civilian deaths and spat in the face of democracy, coupled with continuing rebel challenges to the elected government in Sierra Leone, highlight the often shaky political situation across West Africa. And despite Rawlings, who first seized power in a military coup, departing voluntarily, the issue of democracy dominates events. Since independence in 1957, Ghana’s democratic track record has been turbulent and frequently interrupted.

The President has already worried citizens by departing from a prepared speech at the launch of the National Democratic Congress party’s (NDC) manifesto to say that multi–party democracy does not work in Africa.

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