FAAR Work-in-Progress Seminar: Breaking the duopoly at the political ‘superstructure’: The political dimensions of the local governance system in Ghana

Work-in-Progress Seminar

The Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research (FAAR) at KAIPTC held an internal ‘Work-In-Progress Seminar’

Topic: “Breaking the duopoly at the political ‘superstructure’: The political dimensions of the local governance system in Ghana”
Presenter: Lydia Mawuenya Amedzratorm a researcher at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC)
Chair: Mr. Mustapha Abdallah
Venue: Penthouse
Date: Wednesday, 23rd September 2020
Time: 1000hrs

The current local government system in Ghana began in 1988 when the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) government passed PNDC Law 207. When the country returned to constitutional rule, however, the PNDC Law 207 was replaced by provisions in the 1992 constitutions and the local government Act 462 of 1993. Even though Article 55 (3) of the 1992 constitution excludes political parties from participating in local governance, political parties have illegally infiltrated local government structures. Some aspiring politicians use their participation in local government to build their base and capacity to take on national positions.  The central governance also seemingly wields direct influence on local government – 30% of its membership are appointed by government thereby undermining decentralization and democracy at the local governance level. Based on this backdrop, this chapter seeks to explore a number of questions related to the politicization of the local governance system in the country. These questions include: what are the political dynamics at play at the local governance level and how do these dynamics intersect with national politics? How has the seeming politicization of the local governance system entrenched the two-party political system that the country has been experiencing since its return to multiparty democracy? How has the central government’s seeming control over local governance in the country marginalized minor parties from participating at decision making levels in national government?