United Party (Ghana)

The United Party was the main opposition party in the First Republic of Ghana. It was the only opposition party throughout its existence from 1957 until 1964 when Ghana became a one party state.

United Party
LeaderKofi Abrefa Busia
Merger ofNational Liberation Movement
Northern People's Party
Anlo Youth Organisation
Muslim Association Party
Togoland Congress
Ga Shifimokpee


After Ghana attained its independence on 6 March 1957, the Parliament of Ghana passed the Avoidance of Discrimination Act, 1957 (C.A. 38), which banned all parties and organizations that were confined to or identifiable to any racial, ethnic or religious groups with effect form 31 December 1957. The title of the Act was:

An Act to prohibit organizations using or engaging in tribal, regional,

racial and religious propaganda to the detriment of any community, or securing the election of persons on account of their tribal, regional or

religious affiliations and for other purpose connected therewith.[1]

This law meant that all the existing political parties would become illegal. These parties included the Northern People's Party, Muslim Association Party, National Liberation Movement (NLM), Anlo Youth Organization, Togoland Congress and the Ga Shifimokpee.[2] They therefore merged under the leadership of Kofi Abrefa Busia as the United Party.[3]


The party's effectiveness as the opposition suffered when it was no more recognised as the official opposition after Ghana became a republic in 1960. In September 1962, the National Assembly passed a resolution calling for a one-party state. This was accepted following a referendum in January 1964.[4] This effectively sounded the death of all opposition parties in Ghana and this situation persisted until February 24, 1966 when the Nkrumah government was overthrown in a coup d'état.

Political traditionEdit

The United Party, though it was an amalgam of all opposition parties of the time, was dominated by the NLM which was the biggest opposition party before its formation. The NLM saw some of its roots in the Ghana Congress Party and the United Gold Coast Convention. The following parties all claimed their roots from the "UGCC - UP tradition".

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Professional Bodies (Other than Legal) and Civil Society Groups" (PDF). National Reconciliation Commission Report Volume 4 Chapter 5. Ghana Home Page. pp. 259 & 260. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 28, 2005. Retrieved 2007-06-29.
  2. ^ Richard Asante & E.Gyimah-Boadi (2004). "Ethnic Structure, Inequality and Governance of the Public Sector in Ghana" (PDF). Part of UNRISD Project on Ethnic Structure, Inequality and Governance of the Public Sector. United Nations Research Institute for Social Development. Archived from the original (pdf) on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-06-29.
  3. ^ Janda, Kenneth (June 1980). "GHANA: The Party System in 1951-1956 and 1957-1962". Political Parties: A Cross-National Survey. New York: The Free Press. pp. 908–909. ISBN 978-0-02-916120-3. OCLC 6378799. Retrieved 2007-07-25.
  4. ^ "Ghana - Political Parties". Encyclopaedia of the Nations. Advameg. Retrieved 2007-07-25.