Special Issue: Ghana’s 2012 Elections

Ghana’s 2012 Elections: Reaffirming Africa’s model democracy?

Although still under a cloud of uncertainty following the appeal filed at the Supreme Court by the opposition National Patriotic Party, which protests the results of Ghana’s sixth post-transition election as declared by the Electoral Commission (EC), the significance of the 2012 presidential elections point to both the resilience of Ghanaian democratic consolidation and the risks embedded in the politics of a country widely acclaimed as a model of democracy in West Africa, a subregion marked by a history of instability and conflict. While the four articles in this special issue of Kujenga Amani note the ways in which electoral reforms and the most recent elections have reinforced Ghana’s democratic credentials, they nonetheless point to a few significant problems that need to be addressed to prevent any future reversals. Such problems include the persistence of some electoral malpractices linked to voting by minors, the influence of money, and a set of contradictions in the security arrangements. The five contributors also note the problems with the newly introduced Biometric Voters Registration (BVR) equipment that either malfunctioned or was poorly operated, creating adverse consequences for the registration and voting exercises. The lessons from Ghana’s most recent elections call for cautious celebration; democracy in the country is still a work-in-progress, thereby requiring that close attention be paid to addressing issues of inclusive citizenship and governance, socio-economic inequalities, security and integrity of the electoral process. This special issue of Kujenga Amani on Ghana’s 2012 Elections will showcase one article weekly over the next month.


Special Issue: Ghana's 2012 Elections | October 10, 2013

The Consolidation of Democracy in Ghana: The 2012 General Elections in Perspective

This essay examines the connection between elections and democracy, drawing on the case of Ghana. It evaluates the role played by civil society and the Ghanaian Electoral Commission (EC) before and during the election and analyzes the impact of the death of President Atta Mills on the electoral fortunes of his National Democratic Congress (NDC). The decision of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) to go to court to contest the outcome of the elections is also examined.

Photo credit to Flickr user Eileen Delhi. Photo taken December 7, 2012 by Eileen Delhi. This picture is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. No changes were made. Original photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/eileendelhi/8255595232/in/photolist-dzw5QQ-dpcKxk-d9gPAS-broCqV-broy1P-browCR-broBYK-broB3p-broBwn-broCQB-brozAv-dpcUNL-dATQVv-e8GrZQ-e8GtnA-e8AQjp-e8Gu4A-e8Gt3C-e8AP8H-e8ALwz-nKJWwD-buqzrj-bYYgpJ-drtxiu-cC6e8q-cNKCVb-bumiNS-bumnk7-bumhDQ-bHgaQa-bummQf-bHg9pX-bumicb-bumjLA-bumndw-e8Gsio-e8GrGh-e8GvGd-e8AQCH-e8Gut3-e8ANfn-e8ALMX-bG3n9n-bzv3aC-dyTUka-bNpGez-bLFDRp-bxLVVd-bzv2JU-bLG7gi
Ghanaians wait in line to vote at a polling station near Bolgatanga, Ghana.
Special Issue: Ghana's 2012 Elections | August 15, 2013

Ghana’s Elections 2012: Some Observations

The 2012 Presidential and Parliamentary elections took place in an entirely different context than those before them. This paper explores new initiatives undertaken by the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana and how they enhanced the credibility of the electoral process.

Photo credit to Flickr user The Commonwealth. Credit to Copyright. Julius Mucunguzi/Commonwealth Secretariat. Taken December 7, 2012. This picture is licensed CC BY NC-ND 2.0. No changes were made. Original url: https://www.flickr.com/photos/comsec/8473057811.
Biometric Voter Registration Machine used in Ghana's 2012 elections.
Special Issue: Ghana's 2012 Elections | July 18, 2013

The 2012 Ghanaian Election: Implications for the Consolidation of Democracy

This essay focuses on an issue related to the Ghanaian party system and the consolidation of democracy: the transition of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) from a personalistic party under the stranglehold of former president Jerry John Rawlings to a formal, autonomous party, bringing greater stability to the two-party system in Ghana.

Photo credit to Flickr user BBC World Service. This picture was taken on December 8, 2008. Photo licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0. No changes were made. Original photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bbcworldservice/3091867645/in/photostream/.
A representative from the electoral commission supervises a Ghanaian voter.
Special Issue: Ghana's 2012 Elections | July 11, 2013

The Role of the Security Sector in Ghana’s Democracy: A Case Study of the December 2012 Elections

While many attribute the generally peaceful nature of elections to the efficiency of the Ghanaian Electoral Commission (EC), it is important to emphasize that other state institutions, such as the security forces, have played significant roles in ensuring the consolidation of democracy in the country. This paper provides some insights into the specific roles played by the security forces during the December 2012 elections in Ghana.

Photo credit to Flickr user US Army Africa and Sgt. Tyler Sletten. Taken June 26, 2013 by Sgt. Tyler Sletten. This picture is licensed CC Generic 2.0. No changes were made. Original image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usarmyafrica/9150080806/.
A Ghana Armed Forces military police sergeant.