Ethnicity, religion and elections in Ghana

Politics in Ghana’s fourth republic is an interesting phenomenon. The intricacies in Ghanaian politics is one that requires constant analysis. In this paper, we examine some of these intricacies – the question and role of identity in politics in Ghana. We particularly analyse how ethnicity and religion influence elections in one of Africa’s promising democracies. The analysis is based primarily on the scrutiny of official reports and detailed review of published works. The paper concludes that the tendencies to engage in over ethnicization and excessive religious undercurrent in Ghana’s fourth republic, if not properly managed, can lead to ethnic and religious clashes, especially during electioneering periods. It is in view of this that we recommend that religious and traditional leaders make conscious efforts to promote peaceful and decorous campaigns. Moreover, there is the need for political leaders to avoid inciting ethnic groups against one another, even as societal groups embark on educating and sensitizing the general population.

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