Constitution of Ghana

Status: Republic with executive President

Legislature: Parliament of Ghana

Independence: 6 March 1957

A new constitution, based on the US model, was approved by national referendum in April 1992. Ghana is a unitary republic with an executive presidency and a multiparty political system. The national legislature is the unicameral Parliament, whose 230 members are elected by universal adult suffrage every four years.

The president, who is head of state and commander-in-chief of the armed forces, is elected by universal suffrage for a maximum of two four-year terms. If no presidential candidate receives more than 50% of votes, a new election between the two leading candidates must take place within 21 days.

The president appoints a vice-president and nominates a council of ministers, subject to approval by the parliament. The constitution also provides for two advisory bodies to the president: a 25-member council of state, composed mainly of regional representatives and presidential nominees, and a 20-member national security council, chaired by the vice-president.

Ten regional ministers, one for each region, are each assisted by a regional co-ordinating council. There are 138 administrative districts, each having a district assembly, headed by a district chief executive. Regional colleges, which comprise representatives selected by the district assemblies and by regional houses of chiefs, elect a number of representatives to the council of state.