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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Living in the Past: Urban, Rural and Ethnic Themes in the 1992 and 1996 Elections in Ghana
Author:Nugent, PaulISNI
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies
Geographic term:Ghana
political parties
Ethnic and Race Relations
Urbanization and Migration
Politics and Government
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/161848
Abstract:This article exposes some of the deep currents of Ghanaian political discourse in the context of the 1996 elections. After a prologue, in which the long-range historical trends are identified, the article sets out to explore the manner in which subjective readings of history structured perceptionsof relative strength, and hence informed the political choices that were made by aspirants in the run-up to the poll. It argues that whereas the opposition parties were obsessed with historical precedents, the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), which was regarded by each of them as a mere usurper of the natural order, placed greater faith in manipulating its control over material resources. The second part of the article, which examines the election results in detail, contends that the opposition parties fundamentally misconstrued the historical record, with severe consequences for themselves. Particular attention is paid to rural/urban and ethnic/regional voting patterns. The article concludes that while the opposition improved on its 1992 performance, its inroads were actually fairly limited.The misfit between perceptions and electoral realities could prove destabilizing to Ghana's fledgling democracy. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.