The Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) was the name of the Ghanaian government after the People's National Party's elected government was overthrown by Jerry Rawlings, the former head of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council, on 31 December 1981. It remained in power until 7 January 1993. In a statement explaining the coup d'état, Rawlings explained that a "holy war" was necessary due to the PNP's failure to provide effective leadership and the collapse of the national economy and state services. The PNDC was a military dictatorship that induced civilians to participate in governance. Most of its members were civilians. Its policies reflected a revolutionary government that was pragmatic in its approach. The economic objectives of the PNDC were to halt the economic decay, stabilise the economy and stimulate economic growth. Politically, its goal was to establish structures that would effectively allow the people to express their political will. Most significantly, the PNDC, carrying with it the spirit of the June 4, 1979 Uprising, brought a change in the people’s attitude from a 'government will provide' position to being proactive in nation-building.
The PNDC eventually gave up power, provided a new constitution in 1992 and held elections that year. Rawlings's party, the NDC, officially swept that presidential election with over 58%. The opposition boycotted the subsequent parliamentary elections.
The seven original members of the PNDC from its inception were as follows:
Departures and replacements
Over the years, some people were added to the membership and others left. A number left in 1982 due to ideological differences. Joachim Amartey Quaye was executed for his involvement in the murder of three senior judges and a retired army officer. Rev. Damuah who was suspended from the Catholic Church because of his involvement in the government left in late 1982 and started his own church later called the Afrikania Mission, an organization devoted to the promotion of African Traditional Religion.
August 1992 onwards - Final membership
The officials in charge of the various ministries were designated as Secretaries of state.