Politics of Ghana

Politics of Ghana takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Ghana is both head of state and head of government, and of a two party system. The seat of government is at Golden Jubilee House. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and Parliament. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.[1]

The constitution that established the Fourth Republic provided a basic charter for republican democratic government. It declares Ghana to be a unitary republic with sovereignty residing in the Ghanaian people. Intended to prevent future coups, dictatorial government, and one-party states, it is designed to establish the concept of powersharing. The document reflects lessons learned from the abrogated constitutions of 1957, 1960,69, and 1979, and incorporates provisions and institutions drawn from British and American constitutional models. One controversial provision of the Constitution indemnifies members and appointees of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) from liability for any official act or omission during the years of PNDC rule. The Constitution calls for a system of checks and balances, with power shared between a president, a unicameral parliament, a council of state, and an independent judiciary.

The Economist Intelligence Unit rated Ghana a "flawed democracy" in 2020.[2][needs update]

Executive branchEdit

Main office holders
Office Name Party Since
President Nana Akufo-Addo New Patriotic Party 7 January 2017
Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia New Patriotic Party 7 January 2017

Nana Akufo-Addo is established in the Office of the Presidency, together with his Council of State. The president is head of state, head of government, and commander in chief of the armed forces. He also appoints the vice president. According to the Constitution, more than half of the presidentially appointed ministers of state must be appointed from among members of Parliament.[3]

The outcome of the December 2012 elections, in which John Dramani Mahama was declared President by the Ghana Electoral Commission,[4][5][6] was challenged by Nana Akufo-Addo, Mahamudu Bawumia and Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey at the Supreme Court of Ghana, which came out with the verdict that Mahama legally won the 2012 presidential election[7][8][9]

This precedent which was set by Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP party in 2012 was followed by John Dramani Mahama the then president, and now opposition leader and the NDC party when they petition the Highest Court of the Land to overturn the election victory of Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP party on the grounds that the victory was illegal.[10] [11][12]

Legislative branchEdit

Legislative functions are vested in Parliament, which consists of a unicameral 275-member body plus the Speaker. To become law, legislation must have the assent of the president, who has a qualified veto over all bills except those to which a vote of urgency is attached.[13]

Members are elected for a four-year term in single-seat constituencies by simple plurality vote. As it is predicted by Duverger's law, the voting system has encouraged Ghanaian politics into a two-party system, which means that there are two dominant political parties, with extreme difficulty for anybody to achieve electoral success under the banner of any other party. Elections have been held every four years since 1992. Presidential and parliamentary elections are held alongside each other, generally on 7 December.

Political parties and electionsEdit

Presidential electionsEdit

CandidateRunning matePartyVotes%
Nana Akufo-AddoMahamudu BawumiaNew Patriotic Party6,730,58751.30
John MahamaJane Naana Opoku-AgyemangNational Democratic Congress6,213,18247.36
Christian Kwabena AndrewsAbu Grant LukemanGhana Union Movement105,5480.80
Ivor GreenstreetEmmanuel BobobeConvention People's Party12,2000.09
David ApaseraDivine AyivorPeople's National Convention10,8820.08
Asiedu WalkerJacob Osei YeboahIndependent9,7040.07
Kofi AkpalooMargaret Obrine SarfoLiberal Party of Ghana7,6830.06
Hassan AyarigaFrank Yaw KuadeyAll People's Congress7,1380.05
Brigitte DzogbenukuKofi Asamoah-SiawProgressive People's Party6,8490.05
Nana Konadu Agyeman RawlingsPeter Tennyson AsamoahNational Democratic Party6,5490.05
Akua DonkorErnest Adakabre Frimpong MansoGhana Freedom Party5,5740.04
Henry Herbert LarteyAndy Bampoe-SekyiGreat Consolidated Popular Party3,5640.03
Valid votes13,119,46097.67
Invalid/blank votes313,3972.33
Total votes13,432,857100.00
Registered voters/turnout17,027,94178.89
Source: Ghana Web
CandidateRunning matePartyVotes%
Nana Akufo-AddoMahamudu BawumiaNew Patriotic Party5,755,75853.72
John Dramani MahamaKwesi Amissah-ArthurNational Democratic Congress4,771,18844.53
Paa Kwesi NduomBrigitte DzogbenukuProgressive People's Party106,0920.99
Ivor GreenstreetGabby Nsiah NketiahConvention People's Party25,5520.24
Edward MahamaEmmanuel AnyidohoPeople's National Convention22,2140.21
Nana Konadu Agyeman RawlingsKojo Mensah SosuNational Democratic Party16,9350.16
Jacob Osei YeboahDaniel Wilson TortoIndependent15,9110.15
Valid votes10,713,65098.46
Invalid/blank votes167,3491.54
Total votes10,880,999100.00
Registered voters/turnout15,712,49969.25
Source: Electoral Commission Ghana

Parliamentary electionsEdit

New Patriotic Party6,651,02850.42137–32
National Democratic Congress6,094,47846.20137+31
Ghana Union Movement60,8400.460New
People's National Convention29,2110.2200
Progressive People's Party24,3340.1800
Convention People's Party11,1050.0800
Liberal Party of Ghana7,5210.060New
National Democratic Party6,4210.0500
Great Consolidated Popular Party1,9760.0100
United Progressive Party1,9340.0100
All People's Congress1,2140.0100
Registered voters/turnout17,027,655
Source: peacefmonline.com EC
New Patriotic Party5,661,24852.48169+47
National Democratic Congress4,560,49142.28106–42
Progressive People's Party186,7411.7300
Convention People's Party69,3460.640–1
People's National Convention42,2360.390–1
National Democratic Party19,4500.1800
All People's Congress2,5270.020New
Great Consolidated Popular Party1,3680.0100
United Front Party8960.0100
Democratic People's Party8670.0100
United Progressive Party4300.000New
Valid votes10,787,48498.98
Invalid/blank votes111,1371.02
Total votes10,898,621100.00
Registered voters/turnout15,639,69069.69
Source: Election Passport

Recent political developmentsEdit

Nana Akufo-Addo, the ruling party candidate, was defeated in a very close election by John Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) following the Ghanaian presidential election, 2008.[14][15] Mills died of natural causes and was succeeded by vice-president John Dramani Mahama on 24 July 2012.[16]

Following the Ghanaian presidential election, 2012, John Dramani Mahama became President-elect and was inaugurated on 7 January 2013.[17] Ghana was a stable democracy.[18]

As a result of the Ghanaian presidential election, 2016,[19] Nana Akufo-Addo became President-elect and was inaugurated as the fifth President of the Fourth Republic of Ghana and eighth President of Ghana on 7 January 2017.[20] In December 2020, President Nana Akufo-Addo was re-elected after a tightly contested election.[21]

Judicial branchEdit

The structure and the power of the judiciary are independent of the two other branches of government. The Judiciary of Ghana is responsible for interpreting, applying and enforcing the laws of Ghana, and exist to settle legal conflicts fairly and in a more competent way.[22] The Supreme Court of Ghana has broad powers of judicial review. It is authorized by the Constitution to rule on the constitutionality of any legislation or executive action at the request of any aggrieved citizen. The hierarchy of courts derives largely from British juridical forms. The courts have jurisdiction over all civil and criminal matters. They include the Superior Courts of Judicature, established under the 1992 Constitution, and the Inferior Courts, established by Parliament. The Superior Courts are, from highest to lowest, the Supreme Court of Ghana, the Court of Appeal, the High Court of Justice, and the ten Regional Tribunals. The Inferior Courts, since the Courts Act 2002, include the Circuit Courts, the Magistrate Courts, and special courts such as the Juvenile Courts.[23]

In 2007, Georgina Wood became the first ever female chief justice of the Ghanaian Supreme Court.[24]

Administrative divisionsEdit

Ghana is divided into sixteen regions: Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Central, Eastern, Greater Accra, Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Volta, Oti Region, Western North Region, North East Region, Ahafo Region, Savannah Region, Bono East Region and Western Region.

International organization participationEdit


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Ghana - Government and society". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  2. ^ The Economist Intelligence Unit (8 January 2019). "Democracy Index 2019". Economist Intelligence Unit. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  3. ^ "The political framework of Ghana - Economic and Political Overview - Nordea Trade Portal". www.nordeatrade.com. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  4. ^ "Ghana election: John Mahama declared winner". BBC News. 10 December 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  5. ^ "Mahama declared winner of Ghana election". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  6. ^ Welle (www.dw.com), Deutsche. "Incumbent wins Ghana's presidential election | DW | 09.12.2012". DW.COM. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  7. ^ "Ghana election: NPP challenges John Mahama's victory". BBC News. 28 December 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  8. ^ "Ghana's Main Opposition Party to Challenge Election | Voice of America - English". www.voanews.com. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  9. ^ Welle (www.dw.com), Deutsche. "Ghana's Supreme Court upholds election result | DW | 29.08.2013". DW.COM. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  10. ^ Welle (www.dw.com), Deutsche. "Ghana opposition seeks to overturn Akufo-Addo's election win | DW | 30.12.2020". DW.COM. Retrieved 23 May 2021.
  11. ^ "Ghana: Supreme Court throws out NDC petition on presidential election results". The Africa Report.com. 4 March 2021. Retrieved 23 May 2021.
  12. ^ 2020 ELECTION PETITION HEARING, retrieved 23 May 2021
  13. ^ "Parliamentary Detail". www.cpahq.org. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  14. ^ Kokutse, Francis (3 January 2009). "Opposition leader wins presidency in Ghana". USA Today. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 9 December 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  15. ^ Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi, "The 2008 Freedom House Survey: Another Step Forward for Ghana." Journal of Democracy 20.2 (2009): 138–152 excerpt.
  16. ^ "Atta Mills dies". The New York Times. 25 July 2012. Archived from the original on 9 July 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  17. ^ "Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama sworn in". Sina Corp. 7 January 2013. Archived from the original on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  18. ^ "Elections in Ghana". Africanelections.tripod.com. Archived from the original on 30 May 2012. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  19. ^ "What the world media is saying about Ghana's 2016 elections – YEN.COM.GH". yen.com.gh. 7 December 2016. Archived from the original on 8 December 2016. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
  20. ^ "2016 Presidential Results". Ghana Electoral Commission. Ghana Electoral Commission. Archived from the original on 19 May 2017. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  21. ^ https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-55236356
  22. ^ "Judicial Service of Ghana | ARAP-Ghana | Accountability, Rule of law, and Anti-Corruption Programme". www.arapghana.eu. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  23. ^ "Ghanaian criminal court system". Association of Commonwealth Criminal Lawyers. Archived from the original on 12 January 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2011.
  24. ^ IAWL (7 March 2021). "Women in Leadership: Justice Georgina Theodora Wood". African Women in Law. Retrieved 23 May 2021.

External linksEdit