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General News of Wednesday, 29 April 2020


The story of Ghana's first presidential election held on April 27, 1960

Dr. Kwame Nkrumah (L) Ghana's first President and Dr. Joseph Boakye Danquah (R) Dr. Kwame Nkrumah (L) Ghana's first President and Dr. Joseph Boakye Danquah (R)

On April 27, 1960, Ghana held its first ever presidential election of which Dr. Kwame Nkrumah emerged the winner against Dr. Joseph Boakye Danquah.

The general elections held almost 60 years ago was organized alongside a referendum on creating an executive presidency.

Before the polls took place, municipal elections were held in Kumasi, Ashanti Region on February 12, 1958 where Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s party, the Conventions People Party (CPP) won 17 out of 24 seats on the Municipal Council.

Having been the only two candidates in the election running against each other, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and his Conventions People Party (CPP), won by 1,016,076 votes, representing 89.07 percent while the incumbent candidate Dr. Joseph Boakye Danquah of the United Party (UP) secured only 124,623 votes representing 10.93 percent.

Following that, the winner of the election, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah became Ghana’s first President after gaining independence from British colonial rule on March 6, 1957.

Dr Joseph Boakye Danquah having lost the presidential election against Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in April 1960 was arrested in 1961 over accusations of plans to upset the ruling CPP government.

Dr. Danquah was arrested under the Preventive Detention Act (PDA) on October 3, 1961, but was later released shortly on June 22, 1962.

Two years on, Dr. Danquah was rearrested on January 8, 1964, for being implicated in the ‘Ametewee Assassination’ attempt against President Kwame Nkrumah.

He was said to have been detained at the Condemned Section (Special Block) in cell number 9 until his death.

Shortly after that, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah who was on course to industrialize Ghana and make it a formidable nation was ousted in a coup by some disgruntled Ghanaian soldiers with the help of the CIA on February 24, 1966.

He was then forced into exile to Guinea where he lived for about six years until his death in Bucharest, Romania some 48 years ago on April 27, 1972.