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
Date Written: September 11, 2009
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: Suggested Citation