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Part III Decentralisation, Local Government, and Constitutionalism, 11 Decentralisation for Participatory Governance under Ghana’s 1992 Constitution: The Rhetoric and the Reality

Kofi Quashigah

From: Decentralisation and Constitutionalism in Africa

Edited By: Charles M. Fombad, Nico Steytler

From: Oxford Constitutions (http://oxcon.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 15 June 2021

This chapter examines the case of Ghana. The Ghanaian approach to decentralisation through local government was introduced by a populist military junta at the peak of general disaffection with political parties and elections. The objective was to give the people an opportunity to participate actively in local governance. The suspicion that a multiparty system which permits competition for political office along party-political lines could pose a threat to national cohesion led to political parties being constitutionally excluded from involvement in elections for the District Assemblies. As a result, the Constitution created a local government system that conferred extensive powers on the central government to control local government units. This is one of the many ways in which the decentralised system under the 1992 Constitution is inherently contradictory, seeking to promote decentralisation through a local government system but also making local government subservient to the central government.

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