GHANA
Parliamentary Chamber: Parliament

ELECTIONS HELD IN 2000

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Chamber:
  Parliament


Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  7 December 2000


Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats in Parliament on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.


Background and outcome of elections:

  President Rawlings, who took power in a coup in December 1981 and was subsequently democratically elected in 1992, stepped down on 6 January 2001 as the Constitution establishes a two-term limit.

The electoral campaign was virtually violence free. In Accra, one constituency office of the ruling National Democratic Convention (NDC) was damaged by members of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) when the supporters of the two parties clashed. At the end of November 2000, all the presidential candidates and leaders of the parties contesting the elections, apart from the NPP, signed a document known as the Osu Declaration in which all the signatories pledged to conduct their campaigns in such a way as to avoid any kind of violence and also to restrain their supporters from engaging in acts that could disturb the peace.

In a victory for the ruling party, the Supreme Court ruled that thumb-print voter identity cards would be valid in the election. The NPP had argued that use of these cards would enable the ruling party to rig the election, but the Supreme Court accepted the NDC's argument that as only 80 per cent of Ghanaians had the new photo identity cards, disallowing the old thumb-print cards would disenfranchise a significant number of potential voters.

Polling day was calm as people patiently queued up for hours. Nevertheless, the election was marred by sporadic clashes between supporters of the two rival camps and a dusk-to-dawn curfew was imposed in the northern town of Bawku, where at least thirteen people were killed. Elsewhere in the country, the election went peacefully.

The OAU observer team endorsed the elections and declared the process fair, as the voting and counting had been conducted in a transparent manner.

The NPP won 99 of the 199 parliamentary declared seats (the election to fill the last seat was postponed due to the death of an NPP candidate) as against 92 for the NDC. In the outgoing Parliament, the ruling NDC had held 133 seats. The remaining seats went to independent candidates (4), the People's National Convention (3) and the People's Convention Party (1). Subsequently, on 28 December 2000, the election to fill the last seat was held and the widow of the deceased candidate of the NPP won it.

Mr Kufuor, the NPP's candidate, polled 48.44 per cent of the votes against 44.80 per cent for Mr Mills, the outgoing Vice-President and designated successor of President Rawling. Since none of the candidates won the required 50 per cent plus one of the total votes cast to be declared the outright winner, a run-off was held on 28 December 2000. The results of the run-off gave Mr Kufuor 56.73 per cent of the votes against 43.27 per cent for Mr Mills.

Mr John Kufuor was sworn in as new President on 7 January 2001, and presented his new Cabinet shortly thereafter.

STATISTICS
Round no 1 (7 December 2000): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 10 698 652
Voters 6 633 306 (62 %)
Blank or invalid ballot papers 102 549
Valid votes 6 530 757

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Candidates Votes %
New Patriotic Party (NPP) 199 2 937 386 44.98
National Democratic Congress (NDC) 200 2 691 515 41.21
People's National Convention (PNC) 145 224 657 3.44
People's Convention Party (PCP) 191 85 643 1.31
Independents n.a. n.a. n.a.

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
New Patriotic Party (NPP) 100
National Democratic Congress (NDC) 92
People's National Convention (PNC) 3
People's Convention Party (PCP) 1
Independents 4

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 182
Women: 18
Percent of women: 9


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Copyright 2000 Inter-Parliamentary Union