The Ghana Voter Registration 2020: Dynamics and Risks of Political Contestation in an Emerging Democracy


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After several years of trauniatic extralegal military seizures of power, Ghana in 1992 committed to the international standard that democracies, good democracies, are built on the principle and foundations of the rule of law, respect for human rights, accountable governance and democratic transitions through free, fair and transparent elections, among others.

Ghana’s political landscape, however, has not been free of the challenges associated with egregious violations of the principles of democratic elections. Its elections have been characterised by endemic antagonism, polarisation and intolerance among political parties, especially between the two major political parties—the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

This realisation informs the primary purpose of this monograph. It underscores the affinities between the increasing corrosive sub-culture of political violence and political vigilantism in Ghana’s political discourses and interactions. The study of the 2020 voter registration exercise helps to trace the structural and proximate or circumstantial factors that have and continue to inform Ghana’s propensity towards these twin vices. It identifies four broad contributory factors that exacerbated tensions during the registration exercise: systemic issues, use of violence in resolving such problems, hate speech, and the sometimes arbitrary and frivolous electoral methods and practices.

In a way, these have contributed immensely to apprehensions that the 7 December 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections could witness a rise in political violence.

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Weight 0.380 kg


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Festus B. Aboagye

Colonel Festus Boahen Aboagye (Rtd) is a consultant and facilitator on policy development and capacity building for the African Union, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) and the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFCSC). He consulted for the UNDP on the development of policy documents for the Southern Sudan DDR process in early 2020. He serves on Save the Children's Civil-Military Advisory Board (2017) and the Executive Committee of the Council on Foreign Relations-Ghana (CFR-GH) (2018). He is also an Adjunct Member of the Centre for Democratic Transitions Ghana (CDT-GH) (2017). Festus was CEO of the African Peace Support Trainers Association (APSTA) Secretariat, Nairobi, Kenya (2013-17); and Head of the Training for Peace Programme (2004-09), Institute for Security Studies (155), South Africa, He previously served with the OAU and AU as a Senior Military Expert/Advisor (2000-2004). He is a veteran of several UN peace operations and ECOMOG in Liberia (1997-98). Colonel Aboagye is a graduate of the US Army Infantry School (USAIS), Fort Benning (1985), Ghana Armed Forces Staff College (1986-87), and the British Army Staff College, Camberley (1988). He is the author of "EODMOG," 1999 (second edition 2018); "The Ghana Army (1897-1999)7 1999; and the "Indigenous African Warfare,"

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