The Successful Ghana Election of 2008 – A Convenient Myth? Ethnicity in Ghana’s Elections Revisited

GIGA Working Paper No 109

27 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2010 Last revised: 17 Aug 2012

See all articles by Heinz Jockers

Heinz Jockers

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Dirk Kohnert

GIGA - Hamburg, Institute of African Affairs

Paul Nugent

Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh

Date Written: September 11, 2009

Abstract

Ghana’s 2008 elections have been hailed by national and international observers as a model for Africa. This perception has prevailed despite persistent concerns about “ethnic block voting” and electoral fraud. Electoral malpractice and vote rigging along ethnic lines in Ghana’s virtual two-party system could regain decisive importance as a “third force” that could tip the balance in future, possibly coming to represent an even more important factor than the smaller opposition parties. Unfortunate diplomatic and technocratic biases in election monitoring, combined with a reluctance on the part of the responsible authorities to investigate irregularities in what appears to be a long history of fraudulent “ethnic block voting”, amounts to a dangerous time bomb of unresolved conflict which could explode in future elections.

Keywords: elections, ethnicity, election observation, informal institutions, impunity, Ghana

JEL Classification: D72, N47, Z1

Suggested Citation

Jockers, Heinz and Kohnert, Dirk and Nugent, Paul, The Successful Ghana Election of 2008 – A Convenient Myth? Ethnicity in Ghana’s Elections Revisited (September 11, 2009). GIGA Working Paper No 109. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1534583 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1534583

Heinz Jockers (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Dirk Kohnert

GIGA - Hamburg, Institute of African Affairs ( email )

German Inst. of Global and Area Studies (GIGA)
Neuer Jungfernstieg 21
D-20354 Hamburg
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://dirk2011.jimdo.com/

Paul Nugent

Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh ( email )

21 George Square
Edinburgh, EH8 9JY
United Kingdom

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