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Critical Perspectives -
Critical Perspectives No. 6[The Structural Underpinning of Ghana's December 2000 Elections ]
Critical Perspectives No. 6[The Structural Underpinning of Ghana's December 2000 Elections ]
01 February, 2001

Critical Perspectives No. 6[The Structural Underpinning of Ghana's December 2000 Elections ]

The Structural Underpinning of Ghana's December 2000 Elections

By Daniel A. Smith

Prof. Smith examins Ghana’s electoral process, using the landmark consolidating elections of 2000 as a case study to highlight some of the less transparent inequalities in the electoral system. His analysis is based on first-hand observations of both the 7 December general and 28 December presidential runoff elections and interviews of the major participants in the electoral process. The interviews were conducted between July 2000 and January 2001. Prof. Smith offers a detailed examination of Ghana’s controversial voters’ register and analyzes variations in the percentage of registered voters across regions, constituencies, and district assemblies. Following this, he assesses voter turnout, again using the Electoral Commission’s own figures to compare variations in voter turnout at the sub-national and constituency levels. Furthermore, the author analyzes primary data from the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) and explores the lingering accusation of electoral irregularities in the Volta Region, the stronghold of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and the Ashanti Region, also considered the fortress of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). Finally, and perhaps most important, Prof. Smith does a superb job of critically analyzing the constitutionally stipulated “population quota” and the structural inequalities in the apportionment of Ghana’s two hundred parliamentary seats. In conclusion, the author speculates on the political ramifications of the voters’ register, voter turnout, voter irregularities, and the malapportionment of parliamentary seats. Thus, the key questions of “what constitutes ‘fair and free’ elections” and “how does democratization play itself out with respect to the fair representation of different communities” are fully addressed.

Cost GHs 5.00