Politics in Ghana has been about only the National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party for years and it appears the trend might not change anytime soon although there are many political parties in the country.
According to the Electoral Commission, not less than 27 political parties are currently registered with it, but as to whether all of them are in good standing as required by the law, it is a different conversation.
In the December 2020 general elections, not less than 12 political parties participated after some others got disqualified by the Electoral Commission.
While most of these political parties were formed based on emotions triggered by the failure of the two major political parties to live up to the expectations of the citizenry, others were driven by a pure desire for financial gains and fame. Funding has always been a problem for most of them, so they only exist to participate in elections every four years as if it was just a quadrennial ritual.
While many of these so-called minor political parties continue to exist and many more continue to emerge, some could not stand the test of time.
UGM was officially registered with the Electoral Commission of Ghana as a political party on 10 January 1997.
It contested the presidential and parliamentary elections of December 2000 with Charles Wereko-Brobby himself being its presidential candidate in December 2000 and came seventh with 0.3% of the total vote cast.
Although Dr. Wereko-Brobby himself is alive and focusing on other things in life, the UGM has died arguably completely.
2.The United Renaissance Party (URP) is another Ghanaian political party registered with the Electoral Commission of Ghana. It was founded in 2007. Its first leader was Kofi Wayo.
Mr. Wayo who was unsatisfied with the electoral rules in Ghana said in an interview in 2009 that the rules needed to be overhauled.
He and his URP had since not been actively involved in the political space until 2017 when he declared that he was leaving politics for farming. According to him, his newfound focus is to support farmers in villages because politicians have neglected them for far too long.
Not much has been heard of Mr. Wayo after that declaration which many people applauded him for; he is hardly seen these days too.
3.The Yes People’s Party (YPP) was founded in 2012 and its leader was Annin – Kofi Addo. It was registered in September 2012 by the Electoral Commission.
One Courage Kwame Mensah Azumah stood on the ticket of the YPP in 2012 for the Ketu South Constituency but failed to win the parliamentary seat.
The party did not field candidates during the 2016 general election, and that seems to be the end of it to date.
4.In 2008, one Ramon Osei Akoto founded and led the United Love Party (ULP).
He failed to make it onto the ballot in that election year. Four years later, Akoto was again the presidential candidate but once more failed to register with the Electoral Commission of Ghana for the 2012 general election.
Then, as if to say ‘if you can’t beat them, just join them’, the ULP announced that it would be merging with the National Democratic Congress for the 2016 elections, and that marked the end of that party too.
5.Another one called Ghana National Party also emerged in 2007 and launched in May 2008. Its leader was one Kobina Amo-Aidoo. It contested the December 2008 elections but did not make any impact. It has since been silent.
6.Then the New Vision Party (NVP) was formed in 2008 by Prophet Daniel Nkansah of the New Vision Pentecostal Church. He was the party’s candidate for that year’s presidential election but was nowhere near winning the contest. The party appears to have arguably died a natural death just as many others.
7. The Reformed Patriotic Democrats is also a political party in Ghana founded in 2004 and registered with the Electoral Commission of Ghana in 2008. Kwabena Adjei was the interim chairman in 2007. Although it was not involved with the 2020 Ghanaian general election, it is still listed on the website of the Commission as a registered party.
8.The Electoral Commission of Ghana granted another relatively new political party called Power Unity Party a provisional certificate in 2018. It received its final certificate on 21 November 2019 but did not participate in the 2020 general elections. The leader Eliahu Boateng, is a pastor by profession.
The party’s slogan is Sankofa (a call to return to one’s roots in Twi). Its colours are red and gold.
9.The United Development System Party (UDSP)is also registered with the Electoral Commission. It was founded in 2012. Its first leader in 2012 was Tetteh Kabraham Early. Just like the others, the UDSP looks to have chickened out.
10. One Yaw Kumey too founded the United Democratic Party which was registered with the Electoral Commission of Ghana but it is unclear what the party is being used for.
11.The People’s Destiny Party is registered with the Electoral Commission to contest elections. It however did not take part in the 2020 general elections. Its logo shows a white lamb on a circular background. The upper half of the circle is black and the lower half green.
The 1992 Constitution, Article 55; Political Parties Law Act 2000, 8 stipulate among other things that, for a political party to be eligible for registration the electoral Commission must ensure that:
·the internal organization of the party conforms with democratic principles and its actions and purposes are not contrary to or inconsistent with the Constitution;
·the party has on its national executive committee one member from each region;
·the party has branches in all the regions and is, in addition, organized in not less than two-thirds of the districts in each region;
·there is in each district at least one founding member of the party who is ordinarily resident in the district or is a registered voter in the district.
It will be hard to believe that the Electoral Commission is strictly going by the constitution in granting licenses/certificates to political parties.
Not less than 36 political parties registered with the Electoral Commission since 1992 – 27 remain registered, according to the EC’s website, which implies that 9 of them have been deregistered.