The Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Asiedu Nketia, has delivered a critique of Ghana’s current state of democracy.
In a recent appearance on PM Express on JoyNews, he asserted that the nation is falling short of the democratic ideals it should uphold noting “it’s a very defective democracy.”
According to Mr Nketia, Ghanaians are increasingly relegated to the role of passive spectators rather than active participants in their own governance.
“Citizens are being told that ‘say what you want, we will do what we like’. Are they not spectators? Number two, there’s supposed to be a rule of law. Rule of law means the law is supreme, and everybody is subservient to the law. But what we are seeing is rule by law.”
In this scenario, the law is manipulated as a tool to serve the interests of those in power, resembling a form of governance, Mr Nketia stated.
He said that “rule by law means that you are using the law as a tool to achieve your wishes. So it is characterised by a dictator who looks at the law and says ‘if I do it this way, this way, this way, I’ll get the appearance of acting with the law, but in actual fact, my wishes prevail.’ So that is rule by law. That is what we are having now.”
He highlighted a key indicator of a healthy democracy—the public’s trust in the judicial system and other state institutions.
The NDC Chairman argued that when a significant portion of the population lacks confidence in these institutions, the fundamental principles of democracy are eroded.
“Now, if you have a democracy where survey upon survey turns out a report that 80%/70%, thereabouts have no confidence in your judicial system, you are not running a democracy. Democracy hinges on self-determination. Self -determination, meaning that you choose your leaders, when they are wrong, you fire them and that process is facilitated by an independent and unbiased empire.”
“So, if you have the system of ensuring that citizens have the right to change their leaders, that system is blocked or there are attempts to block that system, you are not having a democracy,” Mr Nketia added.
He noted that what stops Ghana from seeing an uprising like in other countries in Africa is the tolerance of Ghanaians and the remembrance of the history characterised by numerous coups.
Mr Nketia underscored the need for Ghana to recalibrate its democratic trajectory to align more closely with the ideals of active citizen participation, the rule of law, and institutional trust.
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