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NDI

The National Democratic Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government.

Ghana

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Ghana’s 1992 elections heralded the country’s return to multiparty democratic electoral politics after more than three decades of political instability, military interventions and authoritarian rule. Successive democratic elections in 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 have each been seen by domestic observers and the international community as successive improvements over the previous poll. Ghana has also seen two peaceful transfers of power between political parties, a rarity in a region characterized by disputed elections and single party rule.

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Political Overview

On December 7, 2012, Ghanaians went to the polls to elect a president and 275 members of parliament. With a turnout of nearly 80 percent, incumbent President John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) won with 50.7 percent of the vote against main challenger Nana Akufo-Addo of the National People’s Party (NPP), who garnered 47.74 percent. The NDC also claimed a majority in parliament, winning 145 of the 275 seats. Credible domestic and international observation groups said that while there were some challenges – including a second day of voting after malfunctioning biometric verification machines caused delays at 413 polling stations – the overall conduct of the election met national, regional and international standards. The NPP has alleged that there were irregularities in the voting and counting processes and has petitioned the nation’s Supreme Court to overturn the result of the presidential race and 38 parliamentary seats. The NPP’s use of the legal system to resolve the election dispute further strengthens Ghana’s institutions and public confidence in the political process.

Having held six consecutive credible and peaceful elections, Ghana continues to be a model for stability and democracy in the region.

Current Programs

During the 2012 elections, NDI provided technical assistance to the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) and the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) to conduct a parallel vote tabulation (PVT), an advanced election monitoring technique that enhances the credibility and transparency of elections by independently verifying the vote count. Building on CODEO and CDD-Ghana’s successful implementation of a PVT during the 2008 elections, the Institute, with funding from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DfID), provided technical assistance in statistical sampling, robust information communication technology (ICT) tools development and statistical data analysis. NDI also worked with CDD-Ghana and CODEO to develop an external communication and media strategy that utilized innovative technologies to help build wider public awareness of the conduct of the elections and confidence in the results of the PVT.

Past Programs

During the December 2008 elections, NDI provided technical and financial assistance to CDD-Ghana to conduct a PVT of the Dec. 7 first round and Dec. 28 run-off presidential elections. NDI also provided additional technical assistance for the Jan. 2 re-vote in the Tain constituency. Additional support to CDD-Ghana/CODEO included technical support for the use of text messaging (SMS) to communicate and rapidly transmit PVT and other election-related data via cell phones.

NDI has worked to strengthen the democratic process in Ghana since the 1992 election, when the Institute partnered with the Carter Center to develop a plan for the potential future conduct of a PVT. In 1996, NDI sent an international observer delegation and assisted the Network of Domestic Election Observers (NEDEO), a coalition of local civic groups monitoring that year's presidential election.

From December 1997 to October 2000, NDI implemented a three-year program to strengthen the ability of Ghana’s parliament to play an effective role in the governance process and conduct constituent outreach activities. Workshops conducted for civic groups increased their understanding of the policy making process, as well as their advocacy and lobbying skills.

Funding

NDI’s program is funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DfID).

Contact Information

For more information about these programs, use our contact form or contact:

Washington, D.C.
Rakeb Abate, Program Manager
(202) 728-5525

News and Views
12/10/2012 | Reuters
News and Views:
Blog entry
Blog entry: NDI in the News
Resource
12/22/2009
Resource: Press Room
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Blog entry: NDI in the News
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Blog entry: NDI in the News
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11/19/1996
Resource:
Published Publication Title Author
06/28/2013 Press Release: Meeting of the West Africa Election Observers Network (WAEON) on the Status of Implementation of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance in West Africa
Press Release
West Africa Election Observers Network
06/12/2013 West Africa Election Observers Network (WAEON) Field Guide Series
Manual|Handbook
National Democratic Institute
04/04/2013 Open Data is the Beginning, Not the End: Civil Society Organizations as Analysts
Paper
Chris Doten
12/10/2012 Polling Day Observation in Ghana: Mid-Day, Preliminary and Final Statements by CODEO
Statement
CODEO
12/01/2008 NDI Reports: A Review of the Activities of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs
Newsletter
National Democratic Institute
07/01/2005 Party Finance Reform in Africa, Lessons Learned from Four Countries: Ghana, Kenya, Senegal and South Africa
Report
National Democratic Institute
03/01/2005 Financing Political Parties in Ghana: Policy Guidelines
Report
Ghana Centre for Democratic Development
02/01/2005 Survey Report: Political Party Financing in Ghana
Report
Ghana Centre for Democratic Development
06/01/1999 Researching and Analysing Legislation: A Manual for Members of the Parliament of Ghana and the Parliamentary Staff
Manual|Handbook
National Democratic Institute
12/12/1997 The Role of the Committee in Parliament, A National Democratic Institute for International Affairs Seminar, Elmina, Ghana, Decem
Report
National Democratic Institute
12/10/1996 NDI Observer Delegation Preliminary Statement on the December 7, 1996 Ghana Elections
Statement
National Democratic Institute
11/19/1996 Ghana Pre-Election Assessment Statement
Statement
National Democratic Institute