A story is told of a king who for fear of being labeled intolerant by his subjects instructed his chief scribe to write down every opinion expressed by the people, young or old. One day he called for the scrolls to be read to him. After a couple were read, he realised most of the opinions were gibberish. “Useless, useless what waste of precious paper ” the infuriated King yelled.
The story above may be bollocks, but the king was right, waste of paper and space, that’s what these political parties who only spring up during elections have come to symbolize in Ghana.
The Electoral commission of Ghana indicates that 24 political parties are registered with its outfit yet only a few are seen and heard of in the political circles in Ghana.
The 24 registered parties are:
1. Convention People’s Party (CPP)
2. Democratic People’s Party (DPP)
3. Democratic Freedom Party (DFP)
4. Eagle Party (EP)
5. Ghana Democratic Republican Party
6. Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP)
7. Ghana National Party (GNP)
8. Ghana Freedom Party (GFP)
9. Independent People’s Party
10. National Democratic Congress (NDC)
11. New Patriotic Party (NPP)
12. New Vision Party
13. People’s National Convention(PNC)
14. Progressive People’s Party
15. Reformed Patriotic Democrats
16. United Peoples Party
17. United Love Party
18. United Front Party
19. United Development System Party
20. United Renaissance Party
21. United Ghana Movement
22. Yes People’s Party
23. All People’s Congress
24 . National Democratic Party
Out of this lot, only four are actively involved and consequently contribute to Ghana’s political process, NPP, NDC, PPP and CPP. The impact of the remaining 19 are negligible. Most of them have no representation in parliament.
It costs the Ghanaian taxpayer money to organize elections, if there was any possibility the cost of election would reduce if these ‘Ghost’ parties were eliminated from our Electoral system then wouldn’t that be the right path to thread?.
Our democracy is 26 years old and no longer at an experimental stage. We should be fine-tuning it to match how the majority of the Ghanaian electorate want our democracy to be, a view which have been expressed repeatedly by the voting pattern of Ghanaians in elections since 1992.