Puneet Varma (Editor)

Convention People's Party

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Leader  Edmund N. Delle
General Secretary  Nii Armah Akomfrah
Chairman  Edmund N. Delle
Founder  Kwame Nkrumah
Convention People's Party
Founded  June 12, 1949 (1949-06-12). Banned 1966. Refounded 29 January 1996.
Headquarters  House No. 64, Mango Tree Avenue, Asylum Down, Accra, Ghana

The Convention People's Party (CPP) () is a socialist political party in Ghana based on the ideas of the first President of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah.

Contents

The CPP was formed on 12 June 1949 by Kwame Nkrumah to campaign for the independence of the Gold Coast. It was the governing party under Nkrumah of the autonomous British colony of the Gold Coast from 1951 to 1957, and independent Ghana from 1957 to 1966. In 1964 the constitution was changed to make the CPP the only legal party in Ghana, making the nation a one-party state. The party was banned after the 24 February 1966 coup d'état by the National Liberation Council. Parties following in its tradition have used various names. The party was reformed from some of the Nkrumah factions in 1996.

Creation of the CPP

The United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) was formed on 4 August 1947 with the goal of bringing about independence for Ghana. Kwame Nkrumah thought the UGCC's opposition to the colonial rulers lacked the necessary vehemence and urgency; he wanted immediate independence. Breaking from the UGCC on these grounds, he founded the CPP with the motto "self-government now". Original party members included Dzenkle Dzewu, Saki Sheck, and Kojo Botsio.

On 9 January 1950 the CPP called for countrywide boycotts and strikes, during which two policemen were shot dead and the CPP leadership was arrested and imprisoned. This only increased Nkrumah's popularity. When general elections were held in 1951, the CPP won decisively despite the imprisonment of Dr Nkrumah and other party leaders. Nkrumah was subsequently released to form the colony's first African government.

Achieving independence

Nkrumah formed the first African cabinet in the British Empire in 1951. He rejected the idea that local rulers who favoured the British should be given a role in governing, since he viewed them as undemocratic, and thus continued to call for full independence.

In 1956 parliamentary elections were held. The British colonial government promised that if the majority of people voted in favour of independence, a date would be set. The CPP won 71 out 104 seats, and Ghana finally gained its independence on 6 March 1957.

Nkrumah's victory would be short-lived, however, thanks to the passage of two unpopular pieces of legislation in 1958. The Trade Union Act outlawed public strikes, and the Preventive Detention Act allowed the government to detain political opponents without trial. A clearly rigged referendum in 1964, which made the CPP the only legal party and declared Kwame Nkrumah as president for life of both nation and party, empowered the opposition. A coup d’état by the National Liberation Council in 1966 ended the reign of the CPP, which was banned thereafter.

CPP rebirth

Not until 29 January 1996, when the National Convention Party and the People's Convention Party merged, did the Convention People's Party resurface. The new CPP has contested each election since 1996.

At the elections on 7 December 2004, the party won three out of 230 seats. Its candidate in the presidential elections, George Aggudey, won only 1.0% of the vote.

In the 2008 presidential and parliamentary elections, the party won one parliamentary seat: that of Samia Nkrumah in the Jomoro constituency. The presidential candidate, Paa Kwesi Nduom, performed below expectation, managing to get 1.4% of total valid votes.

References

Convention People's Party Wikipedia


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