History First Presidential Elections held in Ghana

First Presidential Elections held in Ghana

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60 years ago, on 27 April 1960, Presidential Elections were held for the First time in Ghana of which Dr. Kwame Nkrumah Defeated Dr. Joseph Boakye Danquah.

60 years ago, on 27 April 1960, Presidential Elections were held for the First time in Ghana of which Dr. Kwame Nkrumah Defeated Dr. Joseph Boakye Danquah.
Portrait of former president of Ghana Kwame Nkrumah, March 18, 1961. (Photo by Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images)

Ghana formally achieved its independence from Britain and became a member of the Commonwealth of Nations (CoN) on March 6, 1957.  Kwame Kkrumah of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) became the prime minister of Ghana on March 6, 1957.

The United Party (UP) was established with the merger of the National Liberation Movement (NLM), Northern People’s Party (NPP), and other political parties, in October 1957.  The government declared a state-of-emergency in Kumasi on December 30, 1957.

Some 5,000 individuals were displaced from the city of Kumasi in the Ashanti region as a result of political violence following independence.  The British government provided military assistance (military training and equipment) to the government of Ghana from 1958 to 1971.

The government of the Soviet Union provided military assistance (military training and weapons), which included some 1,110 Soviet military personnel, to the government of Ghana from 1958 to 1966.  Municipal elections were held in Kumasi on February 12, 1958, and the CPP won 17 out of 24 seats on the municipal council.  The Preventive Detention Act (PDA) was approved by the National Assembly on July 18, 1958.

Presidential elections were held for the first time in Ghana on 27 April 1960. The elections were held alongside a referendum on creating an executive presidency.

The winner of the election would become the country’s first President if the new republican constitution was passed (which it did). There were only two candidates in the election: Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, incumbent Prime Minister and leader of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and Dr. Joseph Boakye Danquah of United Party (UP) and one of the Big Six.

Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and his CPP won the elections with 1,016,076 votes, representing 89.07 per cent whilst Dr. Joseph Boakye Danquah, popularly known as the “doyen of Gold Coast politics” and his UP had 124,623 votes, which represents 10.93 per cent.

60 years ago, on 27 April 1960, Presidential Elections were held for the First time in Ghana of which Dr. Kwame Nkrumah Defeated Dr. Joseph Boakye Danquah.
J. B Danquah

After losing the presidential contest against Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in April 1960, Dr Joseph Boakye Danquah was arrested in 1961 over allegations he plans to topple the Convention People’s Party (CPP) government.

He was arrested under the Preventive Detention Act on October 3, 1961,  but he was later released on June 22, 1962.

Two years later, Danquah was arrested again for being implicated in the Ametewee assassination attempt against President Nkrumah.

He was arrested on January 8, 1964, and detained at the Condemned Section (Special Block) in cell number 9 until his death.

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