Elections and Representative Rule in Africa: A Comparative Study : Current School News

Elections and Representative Rule in Africa: A Comparative Study of Nigeria’s 2007 and Ghana’s 2008 Presidential Elections

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Elections and Representative Rule in Africa: A Comparative Study of Nigeria’s 2007 and Ghana’s 2008 Presidential Elections.

ABSTRACT

There are different conceptions of democracy and their diverse practices produce a similarly varied set of effects. The specific form democracy takes is contingent upon a country’s socioeconomic conditions or social production relations as well as its entrenched state structures and policy practices. “Classical” democracies presumed decision making based on direct participation.

The assembled citizenry was expected to agree on a common course of action after listening to the alternatives and weighing their respective merits and demerits. Democracy or liberal democracy has been described as government by persons freely chosen by the governed who hold them accountable and responsible for their actions while in government through election.

Elections, it is important to note, are not only meant to ensure, confirm or re-affirm the legitimacy of the governors through a regular consent, but also provide a fertile ground for liberal democracy or representative rule to thrive and be consolidated. However, rather than being a political asset and a legitimate force, elections in post colonial Africa have become a political liability, a source of instability and decay.

The various experiences with competitive electoral politics in most parts of Africa have brought the worst in political thuggery and brigandage, unmediated and unrestrained violence. For instance, Election in Nigeria is characterized by wanton destruction of lives and properties. In fact the so called electoral politics in Nigeria has been likened to an instrument of warfare by other means.

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which is the body saddled with the responsibility of conducting election, failed to do so due to its being dependent (structural and functional) on the executive arm of government. It is only in few cases do elections represent real opportunities for the populace to determine who governs.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page – – – – – – – – – -i

Approval Page – – – – – – – – – -ii

Dedication – – – – – – – – – -iii

Acknowledgement – – – – – – – – -iv

Abstract – – – – – – – – – -vi

List of Tables – – – – – – – – – -vii

List of Abbreviations – – – – – – – – -viii

Table of Contents – – – – – – – – -x

CHAPTER ONE

1.1 Introduction – – – – – – – – -1

1.2 Statement of Problem – – – – – – – -4

1.3 Objectives of the Study – – – – – – -7

1.4 Significance of the Study – – – – – – -8

1.5 Literature Review – – – – – – – -8

1.6 Theoretical Framework – – – – – – -26

1.7 Hypothesis – – – – – – – – -31

1.8 What is to be Tested in the Hypothesis- – – – – -31

1.9 Research Design – – – – – – – -31

1.10 Data Collection – – – – – – – -33

1.11 Population of the Empirical Indicators of the Variables of the Hypothesis -34

1.2 Samples of the Empirical Indicators of Hypothesis- – – – -35

1.13 Method of Data Analysis- – – – – – – -35

CHAPTER TWO

2.0 Definition of Concepts – – – – – – -37

2.1 Election – – – – – – – – -37

2.2 Democracy/Representative Rule – – – – – -40

2.3 Relationship between Election and Democracy/Representative Rule -52

2.4 Electoral Management Body – – – – – – -57

2.5 Free and Fair Elections – – – – – – -62

CHAPTER THREE

3.1 Electoral Commission (EC), Ghana and Independent National

Electoral Commission (INEC), Nigeria – – – – – -64

3.1.1 Ghana – – – – – – – – – -64

3.1.2 Establishment of the Electoral Commission – – – – -65

3.1.3 Functions of the Electoral Commission – – – – -66

3.1.4 Independence of the Electoral Commission – – – – -67

3.1.5 Qualification and Appointment of Members of the Commission – -67

3.1.6 Conditions of Service of Members – – – – – -68

3.1.7 Funding of the Electoral Commission – – – – -68

3.1.8 The Organizational Structure and Mission of the Commission – -69

3.1.9 The Presidential Election – – – – – – -69

3.2.1 Nigeria- – – – – – – – – -71

3.2.2 Establishment of Independent National Electoral Commission – -72

3.2.3 Qualification and Appointment of Members of the Commission – -72

3.2.4 The Organizational Structure and Mission of the Commission – -73

3.2.5 Functions of INEC – – – – – – – -74

3.2.6 Funding of the Electoral Commission – – – – -75

3.2.7 Independence of INEC – – – – – – -76

3.2.8 The President – – – – – – – – -77

CHAPTER FOUR

4.0 Data Presentation and Analysis – – – – – -79

4.1 Independence of INEC (Nigeria) and ECG (Ghana) – – – -80

4.2 Financial Autonomy – – – – – – – -82

4.3 Voters Registration – – – – – – – -83

4.4 Display of Voters’ Register – – – – – – -84

4.5 Voters Education – – – – – – – -85

4.6 Presidential Primaries – – – – – – – -86

4.7 Presidential Campaign – – – – – – -87

4.8 Violence during Electoral Campaigns – – – – -89

4.9 Election Related Violence – – – – – – -90

4.10 Candidate Disqualification – – – – – – -91

4.11 Special/Early Voting – – – – – – – -92

4.12 Voters Turnout – – – – – – – -93

4.13 Conduct of Voters – – – – – – – -94

4.14 Voters Transfer – – – – – – – -94

4.15 Replacement of Lost and Defaced Voter Identity Cards – – -95

4.16 Presence/Absence of Polling Booth – – – – – -96

4.17 Voting – – – – – – – – – -96

4.18 Secrecy of the Ballot – – – – – – – -98

4.19 Counting and Collation of Election Results – – – – -99

4.20 Declaration of Election Results – – – – – -100

4.21 Acceptance/Rejection of Election Results – – – – -101

4.22 Conduct of INEC/ECG Officials – – – – – -102

4.23 Presence of Party Agents – – – – – – -103

4.24 Access to Information by Party Agents – – – – -104

4.25 Media Coverage – – – – – – – -105

4.26 Civil Society Organizations – – – – – – -106

4.27 Presence of Domestic and Foreign Observers – – – -108

4.28 Presence of Domestic Observers – – – – – -109

4.29 Availability of Logistics – – – – – – -110

4.30 Security – – – – – – – – -111

4.31 Other Innovations – – – – – – – -112

CHAPTER FIVE

5.0 Summary Conclusion and Recommendation – – – – -116

5.1 Summary – – – – – – – – -116

5.2 Conclusion – – – – – – – – -118

5.3 Recommendation – – – – – – – -120

REFERENCES – – – – – – – – -126

INTRODUCTION

There are different conceptions of democracy and their diverse practices produce a similarly varied set of effects. The specific form democracy takes is contingent upon a country’s socioeconomic conditions or social production relations as well as its entrenched state structures and policy practices.

“Classical” democracies presumed decision making based on direct participation. The assembled citizenry was expected to agree on a common course of action after listening to the alternatives and weighing their respective merits and demerits.

Scholars like Ogban-Iyam (2005: 5-9) believe that it is only a process, function, structure, event or action which gives more people the right to authoritative decision making in a polity, that can rightly be considered as pro-democracy, democracy friendly, democracy beckoning and vice versa, not just free speech, periodic elections, not the right to vote and be voted for, as useful as they may have been.

Democracy or liberal democracy has been described as government by persons freely chosen by the governed who hold them accountable and responsible for their actions while in government (Gana, 1996:12). A democratic system or liberal democratic system is one where rulers are held accountable to the ruled by means of a variety of political arrangements.

REFERENCES

Abrahamsen, R. (2000) Disciplining Democracy: Development Discourse and Good Governance inAfrica; London: Zed Books.
Adejumobi, S. (2007), When Votes Do Not Count: The 2007 General Elections in Nigeria; Pub. The Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala, Sweden.
Adewale A. (2005) “Electoral Commission and Construction of Democratic Rule in Nigeria”,in G.Onu and A.Momoh (ed), Elections and Democratic Consolidations in Nigeria. (Lagos: A-Triad Associates).
Ake, C. (1981) A Political Economy of Africa; Nigeria: Longman Nigeria Plc.
Ake, C. (2001) Democracy and Development in Africa; Ibadan: Spectrum Books.
Alemika E.O. and Omotosho S. B. (2008), Nigeria’s 2007 General Elections: Betrayal of electorate optimism and Participation; A Publication of Alliance for Credible Elections and CLEEN Foundation Nigeria: Lagos and Abuja.
Chukwu P.C. (2007) “1999 Constitution and the INEC: Prospects for Impartial Supervision and Conduct of Elections”, in A.Jega and O. Ibeanu ed. Elections and the future of Democracy in Nigeria. A Publication of National Political Science Association (NPSA)

CSN Team.

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