General News of Friday, 4 August 2017
Host of Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana, Paul Adom-Otchere, has denied ever saying Ghana’s first president, Dr Kwame Nkrumah never won an election.
According to him, his emphasis has been on the first president not participating and winning a presidential election even though he acknowledges that Dr Nkrumah won several parliamentary elections.
“I did not say that Dr Kwame Nkrumah had never won an election in Ghana. That is what some people thought I said. I didn’t say that. Because I’m aware that Dr Nkrumah won elections in 1951, 54 and 56; they were parliamentary elections. That means that he ran elections as a parliamentary candidate and because the aggregate of votes that was totalled meant that the CPP (Convention People’s Party) had won the election around the country, as the leader of the CPP, he became the Prime Minister and the leader of government at different times under that parliamentary political system. So yes, he won elections as a parliamentary candidate. The point I made was that he had never won presidential elections and I added that he had actually not participated in any presidential elections,” Mr Adom-Otchere said on Thursday, August 3.
Mr Adom-Otchere had invited a lot of criticism from fans of Dr Kwame Nkrumah after he made a comment on Accra-based Citi FM in a debate with Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper Kwesi Pratt Jnr. that one of the misconceptions taught at the universities is that Dr Nkrumah was voted for, as president.
“Let me also correct one thing as a political science student that people don’t know. Dr Nkrumah never won a presidential election in Ghana, in the way we have it today, never! Dr Nkrumah never won a presidential election in Ghana, never!” the journalist reiterated with confidence.
The controversy resulted in a reaction from ace journalist, Abdul-Malik Kwaku Baako, who stated on his Facebook page that: “Dr. Nkrumah won the April 27, 1960 presidential election between him and Dr. Danquah which was held alongside the referendum which resulted in Ghana becoming a republic on July 1, 1960.”
He added that it was a “basic fact of history” which Mr Adom-Otchere should know.
History explains that Queen Elizabeth II remained sovereign over Ghana from 1957–1960. William Hare, 5th Earl of Listowel was the Governor-General, and Nkrumah remained Prime Minister.
On 6 March 1960, Nkrumah announced plans for a new constitution which would make Ghana a republic, headed by a president with broad executive and legislative powers. The draft included a provision to surrender Ghanaian sovereignty to a Union of African States. On 19, 23, and27 April 1960 a presidential election and plebiscite on the constitution were held.
Meanwhile, history published on Wikipedia which was curled from An African Elections database [http://africanelections.tripod.com/gh.html#1960_Presidential_Election] in 1960 explains that 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).
The figures for that presidential election, according to the African Elections database was 1,016,076 representing 89.07 per cent of the votes in favour of the CPP’s Dr Kwame Nkrumah and 124,623 representing 10.93 per cent of votes in favour of J. B. Danquah of the United Party.