Ghana is to return to civilian rule after seven years of military government. Last year?
Ghana is to return to civilian rule after seven years of military government. Last year the ban on political parties was lifted and the race for power in Ghana's Third Republic is gathering momentum. Nineteen political parties have emerged to fight the approaching general election. But observers found that many of their lines of battle have been drawn along past divisions which have helped bring about two military coups over the past twenty-two years.
SYNOPSIS: Nigeria's Lieutenant-General Olusegun Obasanjo is also leading his country towards greater democracy. Elections are scheduled for July and August, with a return to civilian rule as a result. General Obasanjo was greeted on his arrival last Thursday (24 May) by Ghana's Head of State, Lieutenant-General Fred Akuffo, and introduced to various members of the Supreme Military Council.
The two leaders were said to have discussed bilateral issues. With both Nigeria and Ghana preparing for civilian rule, observers believed their talks almost certainly included both countries' internal political developments. Two major political formations have emerged in Ghana with leaders who have gained experience during previous periods of free political parties.
The Kponk Hydro-electric project has been set up by the present administration to reduce the industry's dependence on imported fuels. Ghana's heavy import bill brought the country severe economic difficulties in the early 1970s, and eventually lead to the downfall of the civilian government under Dr. Kofi Busia's Progress Party. Descended from Busia's Progress Party, the new United National Convention now represents liberal democracy as one of the two main currents which have emerged since January.
The second current stream of party politics descends from the late President Kwame Nkrumah's socialist ideologies. President Nkrumah led Ghana for its first nine years of independence. His one-party state fell in the first military coup in 1966.
For this year's elections however, General Akuffo has promised to take the military out of politics. An earlier attempt to include the military in a new government failed three years ago, when the suggestion was met with widespread unrest.