Democratic Consolidation in Africa: The Ghanaian Paradigm ( Vol-3,Issue-1,January - February 2018 )
Author: Popoola Michael Akin, Omosebi Fredrick Ade
Keyword: consolidation, democracy, election, electoral violence, political party.
Abstract: The ‘Third Wave’of democracy resulted in transition galore in Africa. Authoritarian governments abandoned authoritarianism fora reconstructed political society which mirrors the institutions and processes of liberal democracy. What is strange however, is the fact that most of the countries that transited to democratic rule in the region about three decades ago are not making significant progress towards consolidating their hard earned democracy. Electoral violence and some other anti-democratic practices have made the mantra of good governance a mere rhetoric, and kept democracy perpetually nascent in most of the countries in the region. But worthy of note is the reference being made to Ghana, by some observers of African politics, as a beacon of democracy in Africa. The crux of this paper therefore is to attempt a critical evaluation of Ghanaian’s democratic experience to determine the extent to which the country can be referred to as a consolidated democracy. Descriptive/qualitative method was used for data analysis. The paper discovered that Ghana indeed possesses some strikingly unique democratic experience which distinguish it from other African states. Although the countryis still struggling with some anti-democratic challenges like vote buying and executive recklessness, which if not properly addressed may erode any democratic gains recorded so far. Nevertheless, the impressive democratic credentials or the indices of democratic consolidation in the country as discovered by this research, can make one to conclude that Ghana is on the path of achieving democratic consolidation.
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