Strengthening Ghana's Electoral System : A Precondition for Stability and Development

In Africa the democratization process is inextricably interwoven with elections. Elections give meaning to the concept of political representation and the protection of all the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Constitution of Ghana. Representatives are elected as to govern the country as not all can rule at the same time. Political party engagement stems from the aggregation of political ideas through political parties so that a meaningful political competition can take place. Hence, to steal in an election is to unlawfully appropriate the will of the people. A study of conflict in African states reveals two main causative factors ethnicity and elections. Indeed, the latter often propels the former. The regional elections in Western Nigeria in 1964, for example, was the principal trigger of political conflict which erupted into ethnic violence and which ultimately degenerated into the Biafran war. Despite the various political and ethnic issues underscoring the conflict in Liberia, electoral rigging catapulted the nation into the civil war carnage which disgraced Africa and humanity. Elections have plagued Cote d'Ivoire, Togo, Benin, Kenya, Zimbabwe etc. The notorious phenomenon of “power sharing” can only be perceived as an “ad hoc” apology to a lingering cancer. Ultimately, Africa can only stabilize and deepen democracy through an electoral system which will put results beyond dispute.