Presidential elections were held for the first time in Ghana on 27 April 1960. The elections were held alongside a referendum on creating an executive presidency. The winner of the election would become the country’s first President if the new republican constitution was passed (which it did). The results of the Plebiscite were Nkrumah 1,016,076 against J B Danquah 124,623. The results were ratified on April 29 1960.
After winning the election, and the passing of the new constitution in the simultaneous referendum, Nkrumah was inaugurated on 1 July 1960, replacing Governor-General William Hare as head of state. Danquah was imprisoned the following year under the Preventive Detention Act, but only held for a year. On his release, he was elected President of the Ghana Bar Association. He was imprisoned again in 1964 and died in jail.
Four years later, another referendum strengthened Nkrumah’s powers and turned the country into a one-party state (with an official result of 99.91% in support).
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