> This is the Electoral Map of the 2004 elections, blue for NPP, green for NDC. As you can see distinct areas of the country support different parties, eg. the central part of Ghana was predominately NPP and the north and the east mostly voted for NDC. As it happens, these geographical areas broadly converts into ethnic groups or tribes.
This year there has been a concern that the ethnic vote will create violence and confusion and this possibility has been met with not less than three campaigns: (1), (2), (3), to stem eventual violence. However, when I have talked to people, this is not a big concern. Some say, former presidents have been from different tribes; Ashanti, Ewe, and the main contestants this time around are from yet other tribes; Akyem and Fanti, so we have nothing to worry about. Others talk about an Electoral commission that is competent and independent, so who can then meddle with election results?
Even so, the majoritarian, winner-takes-all political system Ghana shares with USA has the disadvantage of leaving minorities unrepresented. Maybe Ghana, as a country with many ethnic groups would be better served with a multiparty, consensual political system? Read Eric Kwesi Bottah’s insightful article for more arguments for a multiparty system in Ghana.
On Sunday the Ghanaian general elections are on, and the question is how Ghanaians will vote this time?
Map from excellent elections’ site thinkghana.com/elections/