• Politics in Ghana (1982-1992): Rawlings, Revolution and Populist Democracy

    This work was embarked upon as part of my study of military intervention in politics which had become the bane of politics in my country and Africa as a whole. My previous study had encompassed the period 1972-1979 (vide Politics In Ghana 1972 — 1979). The publication was well received and it won several awards. The book decried military rule in the hope that it would discourage military incursions in Ghanaian politics. As the 31 December Revolution unfolded, several friends impressed upon me, and I felt a deep obligation in the same direction, to capture and analyse the events of the time for posterity and for the guidance of my beloved country.

    With the advent of the PNDC on 31 December 1981, revolutionary politics was launched, which was geared towards participatory democracy. The PNDC military government claimed that it was not just another military junta but that under the auspices of the military and civilian revolutionary leaders and cadres, the people were taking their destinies into their own hands towards the establishment of grassroots democracy. In the process, as the revolutionaries claimed, all injustices would be redressed, corruption would be eradicated and a new era of prosperity would dawn as “true democracy” was manifested.

    My task in this work was to examine critically, the true nature of the PNDC, its composition, declared aims and objectives and whether the politics of revolution which dawned on 31 December 1981, could be justified. It was worthy to study and document whether the Defence Committees, District Assemblies, political and legal institutions of the PNDC, the regime’s human rights record, economic and social policies, responsibility and accountability to the populace, responsiveness in government and its electoral record did lead to a true democracy. The work is seen as a contribution towards answering the question: did the PNDC bring democracy to Ghana?

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