Sustaining Peace and Stability in Ghana: Appraising the Role of the National Election Security Task Force in the 2012 Elections

This article examines the role of the National Election Security Task Force
(NESTF) in the 2012 elections in Ghana. It traces the history of electoral
politics in Ghana’s Fourth Republic, highlighting significant developments
and security challenges from 1992, with a particular focus on the 2012
elections. The structure, composition and powers as well as the functions
of the NESTF are discussed. The article further examines the performance
of the NESTF during all three phases of the elections relative to security
challenges, responses and emerging issues that require urgent policy reforms.
Based on face-to-face interviews and participant observations, the article
concludes that the 2012 elections were not only keenly contested but all
three phases were marred by extreme violence, particularly because of the
novelty of the biometric voter registration and verification system. While
commending various election stakeholders such as the Electoral Commission
of Ghana, we argue that although the election results were contested in court,
the NESTF, in particular, played an exemplary role in averting possible
conflict after the declaration of the results. We recommend, however, that
in subsequent elections the security forces should be seen to be neutral and
government should also ensure adequate provision of logistics, transport
and communication devices to ensure free, fair and violence-free elections.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections
Tags: biometric voter register (BVR), e New Patriotic Party (NPP), Electoral Commission of Ghana (ECG), National Democratic Congress (NDC), verification system (VS)
journal of african elections vol12 number 2 transparent democratic governance in africa