Ghana: The African Exemplar of an Institutionalized Two-Party System?
Ghana’s experience with political party development has diverged from the African norm. Since the early days of decolonization and right through the upheavals of the post-colonial period when the country alternated between civilian rule and military dictatorship, Ghana maintained a limited number of political parties but more importantly since the democratic transition in 1992 the Ghanaian party system has evolved into the only strongly institutionalized two-party system on the continent (see Carbone 2003; Morrison 2004; Debrah 2007; GyimahBoadi and Debrah 2008; Whitfield 2009; Daddieh 2011; Lynch and Crawford 2011; Bob-Milliar 2012a). This chapter provides evidence to substantiate the claim that Ghana’s party system is best described as an institutionalized two-party system and seeks to address two important questions: How did Ghana’s two-party system develop? And how has the party system contributed to the development of democracy since Ghana joined the third wave of democratization in May 1992?
KeywordsPresidential Election Party System Parliamentary Election Democratic Consolidation Main Party
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- A.-G. Abdulai and G. Crawford (2010) ‘Consolidating Democracy in Ghana: Progress and Prospects?’ Democratization 17 (1), 26–67. B. Agyeman-Duah (2005) Elections and Electoral Politics in Ghana’s Fourth Republic (Accra: Critical Perspectives No. 18, Ghana Center for Democratic Development, July 2005). D.E.K. Amenumey (2008) Ghana: A Concise History from Pre-Colonial Times to the20th Century (Accra: Woeli Publishing Services). D. Apter (1963) Ghana in Transition (New York: Atheneum).Google Scholar
- G. Bauer (2008) ‘Electoral Gender Quotas for Parliament in East and SouthernGoogle Scholar
- Africa’, International Feminist Journal of Politics 10 (3), 348–368.Google Scholar
- A.A. Boahen (1989) The Ghanaian Sphinx: Reflections on the Contemporary History of Ghana, 1972–1987 (Accra: Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences).Google Scholar
- A.A. Boahen (1995) ‘A Note on the Ghanaian Elections’, African Affairs 94 (375), 277–289.Google Scholar
- A.A. Boahen (2000) Ghana: Evolution and Change in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (Accra: Sankofa Educational Publishers Ltd).Google Scholar
- G.M. Carbone (2003) ‘Developing Multi-Party Politics: Stability and Change in Ghana and Mozambique’, Crisis States Programme Working Paper 36, 1–26.Google Scholar
- C.K. Daddieh (2011) ‘Democratic Consolidation without a Second Turnover: Ghana’s Remarkable 2004 Elections’, in A. Saine, B. N’Diaye and M. Houngnikpo (eds.) Elections and Democratization in West Africa1990–2009 (New Jersey, Trenton: African World Press), pp. 43–74.Google Scholar
- C.K. Daddieh and G.M. Bob-Milliar (unpublished paper) ‘Electoral Democracy in Africa: Is Ghana still Exceptional? The View from the 2012 General Elections’. C.K. Daddieh and G.M. Bob-Milliar (2012) ‘In Search of “Honorable” Member ship: Parliamentary Primaries and Candidate Selection in Ghana’, Journal of Asian and African Studies 47 (2), 204–220. B. Davidson (1994) Modern Africa: A Social and Political History. Third Edition (New York: Longman). E. Debrah (2007) ‘Fifty Years of Party Politics in Ghana: the Balance Sheet’, inGoogle Scholar
- J.R.A. Ayee (ed.) Ghana at 50: Government, Politics and Development (Legon: University of Ghana/Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung), pp. 107–123.Google Scholar
- N. Fobih (2011) ‘Challenges to Party Development and Democratic Consolidation: Perspectives on Reforming Ghana’s Institutional Framework’, Journal of Asian and African Studies 46 (6), 578–592. I. Gary (2009) Ghana’s Big Test: Oil’s Challenge to Democratic Development (Accra: An Oxfam America/ISODEC Report). E. Gyimah-Boadi (2009) ‘Another Step Forward for Ghana’, Journal of Democracy 20 (2), 138–152. E. Gyimah-Boadi and E. Debrah (2008) ‘Political Parties and Party Politics’, inGoogle Scholar
- B. Agyeman-Duah (ed.) Ghana: Governance in the Fourth Republic (Accra: CDD-Ghana), pp. 126–154. R. Jeffries (1998) ‘The Ghanaian Elections of 1996: Towards the Consolidation of Democracy? African Affairs 97 (387), 189–208. R. Jeffries and C. Thomas (1993) ‘The Ghanaian Elections of 1992’, African Affairs 92 (368), 331–366.Google Scholar
- S.I. Lindberg (2003) ‘It’s Our Time to “Chop”: Do Elections in Africa Feed Neo Patrimonialism rather than Counteract It?’ Democratization 10 (2), 121–140. G. Lynch and G. Crawford (2011) ‘Democratization in Africa 1990–2010: An Assessment’, Democratization 18 (2), 275–310.Google Scholar
- New Patriotic Party (1993) The Stolen Verdict: Ghana November 1992 Presidential Election (Accra: New Patriotic Party).Google Scholar
- K.A. Ninsin (2006) Political Parties and Political Participation in Ghana, astudyon behalf of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (Accra, Ghana).Google Scholar
- O.O Olarinmoye (2008) ‘Godfathers, Political Parties and Electoral Corruption in Nigeria’, African Journal of Political Science and International Relations 2(4), 066–073.Google Scholar
- D. Owusu-Ansah and D.M. McFarland (1995) Historical Dictionary of Ghana. Second Edition (Metuchen, N.J. and London: The Scarecrow Press, Inc.).Google Scholar
- D. Pellow and N. Chazan (1986) Ghana: Coping with Uncertainty (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press).Google Scholar
- S.S. Quarcoopome (1988) ‘Party Politics in Accra: 1927–1945’, Universitas 10, 152–165. Republic of Ghana (1992) Constitution of the Republic of Ghana 1992 (Accra: Assembly Press of Ghana Publishing Corporation). Republic of Ghana (2013) Presidential Election Petition, In the matter of a petition challenging the validity of the election of John Dramani Mahama as President of the Republic of Ghana pursuant to the Presidential Election held on 7 and 8 December 2012, PETITION NO.J1/6/2013.Google Scholar