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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Things That Money Can Buy: Chieftaincy, the Media and the 1996 Elections in Hohoe-North Constituency
Author:Nugent, PaulISNI
Periodical:Ghana Studies
Geographic term:Ghana
Politics and Government
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Literature, Mass Media and the Press
Abstract:The central theme of this article is the delineation of the contours of public space during the Fourth Republic in Ghana. Whereas most earlier studies have had an urban setting, this one concerns a rural contest and it examines the election arena. The author concentrates on the 1996 election, but stresses that his study actually has a bearing on the period of three elections: 1992, 1996, and 2000. In 1992 the position of chief was withdrawn from the election arena. The rules of succession are now laid down in the 1992 Constitution and can no longer be used as a bargaining point by politicians. Deprived of this pivotal point by the constitutional insulation of chieftaincy, they have now espoused the media which have been undergoing an explosive growth in Ghana. The case study examined took place in Hohoe-North, an electoral constituency in the Central Volta region. The bulk of the population are Ewe-speaking but there are a number of Central Togo minority groups and it was among one of them, the Lipke, that the dispute about the chieftaincy occurred. The author points out that this case illustrates some of the paradoxes of this new area of contestation: individuals who want to achieve national influence have to immerse themselves in urban politics, but to be elected most of them need to win seats in rural areas. Whereas most people in rural areas do not have the money to mount a campaign, the urbanites who impinge on their territory usually lack the local knowledge, which can lead to spectacular failures as in this case. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]