Information on the New Patriotic Party (NPP), particularly on the treatment of its members by the authorities [GHA18199.E]

Information on the treatment of New Patriotic Party (NPP) members by the authorities is currently unavailable to the DIRB in Ottawa. However, the DIRB has reported extensively on the NPP and its role in Ghanaian politics since its formation in June 1992. For updated information concerning the NPP's role as the leading Ghanaian opposition party, please refer to Responses to Information Requests GHA18039.E (23 July 1994), GHA18088.E (3 July 1994), GHA17618.E (14 July 1994), GHA17398.E (7 June 1994), GHA17376.E (18 May 1994), GHA17377.E (17 May 1994) and GHA17398.E (7 July 1994). These documents are currently available at your Regional Documentation Centre. Also, please refer to the attachments, which further describe the NPP's formation and its political orientation.

General information on the treatment of opposition parties by the Ghanaian authorities was provided by a journalist with the London-based New African, who writes primarily on Ghana (12 Sept. 1994). According to the journalist, the government perceives opposition parties or groups as "opponents, threats or detractors" (ibid.). The authorities use various "subtle" measures to counter the effectiveness of opposition parties and the press. For instance, business people who are known NPP or opposition supporters are deprived of government contracts and import permits (ibid.). As well, foreign exchange authorization to conduct business abroad is difficult to obtain and approval time for government authorizations tend to take longer than usual (ibid.).

The New African journalist stated that while the government does not use "blatant measures" to intimidate the opposition, the subtle measures employed are meant to "send a message" to opposition groups and their supporters. In a country where government is usually present in the operations of business establishments and in the lives of individuals, it is impossible for anyone to escape transactions with the government (ibid.). In this atmosphere, the social status of individuals and their relationship with the NPP or the opposition could influence the authorities' reaction to them (ibid.).

A professor of economics who specializes in socio-economic development in sub-Saharan Africa at the American University in Washington, DC corroborated the above information that the authorities use intimidation tactics, particularly against the press (12 Sept. 1994). The professor indicated that the days of "outright political attacks" on opposition politicians are a thing of the past in Ghana (ibid.).

A University of South Florida professor who specializes in comparative politics in sub-Saharan Africa at the College of Arts and Sciences in Tampa disagreed that there is even the use of subtle measures to intimidate known NPP or opposition supporters (12 Sept. 1994). He added that this might have been true in the past, but was no longer the case in the current political climate in Ghana (ibid.).

This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Professor of economics specializing in sub-Saharan Africa, American University, Washington, DC. 12 September 1994. Telephone interview.

Professor of comparative politics in sub-Saharan Africa, College of Arts and Sciences, South Florida University, Tampa. 12 September 1994. Telephone interview.

Journalist with New African, London. 12 September 1994. Telephone interview.


Africa Research Bulletin [Cambridge]. 1-31 May 1994. Vol. 31, No. 5. "Ghana: NPP Rejects Dialogue," p. 11442B.

. 1-31 August 1993. Vol. 30, No. 8. "Ghana: Opposition Recognises Election," p. 1111B.

. 1-28 February 1993. Vol. 30, No. 2. "Ghana: Opposition Strategy," p. 10891B.

. 1-31 January 1993. Vol. 30, No. 1. "Ghana: Rawlings' Landslide," p. 10852A.

. 1-31 December 1992. Vol. 29, No. 12. "Ghana: Parliamentary Elections," 10816B.

. 1-30 November 1992. Vol. 29, No. 11. "Ghana: Rawlings' Victory," pp. 10781B-3B.

. 1-30 June 1992. Vol. 29, No. 6. "Ghana: PNDC Forms Party," pp. 10611B-2A.

Ghanaian Times [Accra]. 3 June 1992. "New Patriotic Party Launched, p. 3.

Political Parties of Africa and the Middle East: A Reference Guide. 1993. Edited by Roger East and Tanya Joseph. London: Longman Group UK Ltd., pp. 111-13.