2023 journal of african elections v22n2 eisa transparent democratic governance in africa

Electoral Manipulation in the Grey Zone: Evidence from Ghana’s Parliamentary Elections in 2008 and 2012

Electoral manipulation undermines the function of elections as a mechanism
of representation and accountability, and erodes public trust in government
institutions; however, our theoretical understanding of its causes is still
limited. Research has focused on the blunter forms of electoral manipulation.
Less attention has been given to the more subtle forms, although these
are more common. This paper investigates one type of subtle electoral
manipulation: miscounting, meaning election officers who selectively reject
ballots during the counting. It suggests that miscounting (one of the ways
in which political candidates can rig elections) is characterised by low
risks and high direct costs. On one hand, it is almost invisible, embedded
in the sociocultural norms and practices surrounding elections in many
African countries. On the other, it is expensive, requiring large amounts
of patronage to co-opt election officers. This makes miscounting attractive
only to incumbents who fear electoral defeat and have deep clientelist
networks. The paper tests this argument against data from the 2008 and
2012 parliamentary elections in Ghana. It shows that the number of ballot
rejections is positively correlated with the number of years the party of the
incumbent MP has held the constituency seat, but negatively correlated when
this variable is interacted with the win-margin in the last parliamentary
election. This pattern is consistent with the model, supporting the argument
that the effect of electoral uncertainty on miscounting is conditional. When
MPs do not have resources at their disposal, they choose other types of
electoral manipulation or opt out of electoral rigging altogether.

2023 journal of african elections v22n2 eisa transparent democratic governance in africa

Ensuring Peaceful Elections in Ghana: The Role of Civil Society Organisations in the 2020 Elections

This paper explores the role civil society organisations (CSOs) play in promoting peaceful elections in Ghana. Preventing electoral violence is a key factor in the support of functioning democratic societies, and the role of CSOs in promoting peaceful elections continues to grow with each electoral contest. This paper reviews secondary sources to interrogate the questions about the nature, interventions, impact, and challenges of CSOs in Ghana before, during and after general elections. Specifically, the paper examines the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections using the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) and the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) as case studies. Overall, the recommendations in this study suggest CSOs must build synergies to increase collaboration in order to promote peaceful elections and political transitions. In addition, to strengthen their election observation, civic/voter education, peace promotion and violence monitoring roles through sustainable funding, CSOs in Ghana must review their funding strategies to include donations from non-partisan organisations and individuals. Furthermore, to maintain the integrity of CSOs in Ghana, they must develop internally-built transparency and accountability mechanisms such as legal structures to govern their operations.

2023 journal of african elections v22n2 eisa transparent democratic governance in africa

Political Vigilante Violence in Ghana: Its Human Rights Implications

L’objectif principal de cet article est d’examiner les liens incontestables entre la violence des justiciers politiques et les violations des droits humains au Ghana. En particulier, il s’intéresse à la manière dont la violence politique se développe. Pour y parvenir, l’article sera guidé par les objectifs de recherche suivants : Premièrement, explorer la nature du vigilantisme politique dans la Quatrième République du Ghana. Deuxièmement, analyser les enjeux liés aux droits de l’homme dans le vigilantisme politique au cours de cette période. S’appuyant principalement sur les expériences des élections générales de la Quatrième République du Ghana, l’article vise à interroger l’ampleur de la violence des justiciers politiques au Ghana. Il affirme qu’il existe un lien complexe entre la violence des justiciers politiques et les droits de l’homme. L’article s’appuie sur la théorie de la frustration-agression pour considérer la manière dont le désir d’acquérir le pouvoir politique conduit à la rivalité et finalement à la violence.

journal of african elections vol21 number 1 transparent democratic governance in africa

Election Petition and the Future of Electoral Reforms in Ghana

The results of Ghana’s 2012 and 2020 elections were challenged in the nation’s
Supreme Court. Even though the court processes in both cases did not alter
the election results, they nevertheless exposed monumental flaws in the
electoral processes. The flaws in the 2012 electoral processes were exposed at
the Supreme Court and featured in the final judgment of the court in a manner
that allowed the Electoral Commission to initiate moves towards electoral
reforms. However, the challenges of the 2020 elections, though exposed at the
courts, were never featured in the final judgment of the Supreme Court. This
paper discusses the implications of the 2020 election petition for the future of
electoral reforms in Ghana. It argues that the rigid application of the letter
of the law by the Supreme Court and the relegation to the background of the
thorny issues of electoral challenges in the 2020 elections, would render the
quest for further electoral reforms difficult. This would then make the future
of any attempt to fine-tune the electoral processes quite bleak.