Ghana’s 2016 Elections: An Overview of Selected Relevant Background Themes

Seven successive elections have been held in Ghana since 1992, most recently
in 2016 when the country made a fourth attempt to embrace constitutional
rule. A burgeoning literature provides explanations for the outcome of the
2016 election, which saw the defeat of the erstwhile incumbent National
Democratic Congress and a landslide victory for the New Patriotic Party.
Yet, little attention has been given to the various undercurrents, events,
and significant background dynamics prior to the elections on 7 December.
This research therefore provides a partially analytical but largely descriptive
presentation of selected relevant issues that contributed to the build-up to the
2016 elections. The study situates the discourse within the broader context of
Ghana’s democratisation, revealing how underlying phenomena possibly pose
a threat to, and challenge the prospects of democratic consolidation. However,
the conclusion indicates that the outcome of elections, which were deemed free
and fair, should not be the only area of interest as the processes that lead to
the elections are of great concern for a democracy. The work identifies several
areas of concern, in particular Ghana’s electoral management, intra-party
conflicts, unconventional aggression, vituperative outbursts and personal
attacks, internal party elections, campaigns, how some chiefs violated a
constitutional provision and outwardly portrayed partisanship, and brief
issues concerning vote buying.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections
Tags: democratic consolidation, elections, electoral politics, Ghana, National Democratic Congress, New Patriotic Party
journal of african elections vol19 number 1 transparent democratic governance in africa