n Journal of African Elections - Making democracy work? Quasi-public entities and the drama of elections in Ghana

Volume 12, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1609-4700



Since Ghana made the transition to multiparty democracy in the early 1990s there has been a progressive improvement in electoral management and the acceptance by the political players of election results. Six successive elections have been held so far, with two crucial power alternations between two hostile political parties in 2001 and 2009. The 2012 elections presented an opportunity for the country to continue along the path of democratic consolidation. However, the outcome of the elections was vigorously disputed and contested in court by the main opposition party, nearly bringing the country to the brink of violence. This article makes a contribution to ongoing debates about why some elections pass peacefully and results are accepted, while others do not. Various studies have focused on the role of formal institutions in ensuring credible and fair elections. This article, however, emphasises the importance of informal institutions in explaining variations in electoral outcomes and legitimacy in Ghana.

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