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Democratization Via Centralized Institutional Systems? Evidence from Ghana By: Jennifer C. Boylan Abstract Decentralization is widely believed to introduce positive democratic benefits to new democ- racies, while centralized institutions are characterized as a nasty remnant of prior author- itarian regimes. Using Ghana as a case study, this article explores the contradiction in Ghana’s famed democratic success despite it’s highly centralized political system. Using both qualitative and quantitative analysis, this work examines the relationship between the Presidentially-appointed District Chief Executive and locally-elected Member(s) of Par- liament. The findings show that the appointment of District Chief Executives actually introduces a great deal of political competition in local areas, particularly in opposition strongholds. OLS regressions then demonstrate that vote volatility in Presidential and Par- liamentary elections from 1996 to 2012 significantly increases in these artificially competitive areas as compared to political units facing low artificial competition. An uncanny remedy, the work concludes that Ghana’s centralized system both institutionalizes political compe- tition and produces democratic outcomes at the local level. Introduction The neopatrimonial nature of African politics persists as a seemingly unstoppable cycle of weak political parties, particularistic elites, and citizens’ ethnic-voting practices. As Bratton and van de Walle (1994) discuss, neopatrimonialism perseveres in African democracies as politicians maintain their authority and prestige as heads of patronage networks rather than as heads of ideological movements. This manifests into weak or absent party platforms, elites who grant undue favor to select kinship groups, communities which only benefit when ‘their’ representative is in power (Lindberg 2003, 123), and constituents who engage in ethnic-voting in the assumption that politicians will channel resources back to their kinship group. How can this cycle be broken? Ghana is famous for its democratic achievements built over the course of five competi- tive free and fair elections, yet Ghana’s highly centralized system of democracy bucks the democratization-via-decentralization trend so popular amongst democratic theorists and the broader development community. I argue that these achievements are ironically depen- dent upon Ghana’s centralized system of governance. But how can centralized institutional structures promote democratic deepening? Features of Ghana’s national and local-level 1

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Democratization Via Centralized Institutional Systems? Evidence from Ghana

By: Jennifer C. Boylan


Decentralization is widely believed to introduce positive democratic benefits to new democ-racies, while centralized institutions are characterized as a nasty remnant of prior author-itarian regimes. Using Ghana as a case study, this article explores the contradiction inGhana’s famed democratic success despite it’s highly centralized political system. Usingboth qualitative and quantitative analysis, this work examines the relationship betweenthe Presidentially-appointed District Chief Executive and locally-elected Member(s) of Par-liament. The findings show that the appointment of District Chief Executives actuallyintroduces a great deal of political competition in local areas, particularly in oppositionstrongholds. OLS regressions then demonstrate that vote volatility in Presidential and Par-liamentary elections from 1996 to 2012 significantly increases in these artificially competitiveareas as compared to political units facing low artificial competition. An uncanny remedy,the work concludes that Ghana’s centralized system both institutionalizes political compe-tition and produces democratic outcomes at the local level.


The neopatrimonial nature of African politics persists as a seemingly unstoppable cycle of

weak political parties, particularistic elites, and citizens’ ethnic-voting practices. As Bratton

and van de Walle (1994) discuss, neopatrimonialism perseveres in African democracies as

politicians maintain their authority and prestige as heads of patronage networks rather than

as heads of ideological movements. This manifests into weak or absent party platforms, elites

who grant undue favor to select kinship groups, communities which only benefit when ‘their’

representative is in power (Lindberg 2003, 123), and constituents who engage in ethnic-voting

in the assumption that politicians will channel resources back to their kinship group. How

can this cycle be broken?

Ghana is famous for its democratic achievements built over the course of five competi-

tive free and fair elections, yet Ghana’s highly centralized system of democracy bucks the

democratization-via-decentralization trend so popular amongst democratic theorists and the

broader development community. I argue that these achievements are ironically depen-

dent upon Ghana’s centralized system of governance. But how can centralized institutional

structures promote democratic deepening? Features of Ghana’s national and local-level


institutions artificially institutionalization political competition at the sub-national level.

In particular, Ghana’s system of local government features two prominent actors: a local

constituency-elected Member of Parliament (MP) and a centrally-appointed district-level

Metropolitan/Municipal/District Chief Executive (referred to as DCE from here on out).1

Antithetical to decentralized systems where locally officials are solely accountable to

the public, the Presidentially-appointed DCE coexists along side locally-elected, though

centrally-employed, officials (MPs) at the local level. Development institutes and democra-

tization scholars have highlighted the benefits of decentralized systems, while condemning

centralized local government structures as evidence of a central leader’s interest in main-

taining control at the local level. Less explored, however, is the potential benefits of the

simultaneous employment of both locally-elected and centrally-appointed officials.

The benefits of decentralization are widely understood, but in this chapter I argue that the

presence of central appointments in Ghana’s system of local government actually increases

political competition at the local-level. Meaningful competition has contributed to increased

responsiveness on the part of Ghana’s local-level politicians and increased vote volatility on

the part of citizens in Ghana’s Fourth Republic.

The Power of the DCE

Ghana’s system of local government is technically a five-tiered system which exists along-

side the network of locally-elected MPs who sit in Parliament. The five-tiered system at first

appears quite complicated. However, apart from the Central Government and the Metropoli-

tan, Municipal, & District Assemblies (District Assemblies throughout the paper), the other

three tiers are comprised of councils with largely unspecified roles and which only operate

as consultative bodies providing advice to the Central Government and District Assemblies.

This section will demonstrate the extent to which DCEs have significant authority over

1Constituencies fall within Administrative Districts such that one constituency may correspond to onedistrict, as in the rural areas, one constituency may be paired with another under a single AdministrativeDistrict, or, in urban areas, several constituencies may fall under a single (Metropolitan) AdministrativeDistrict. As of 2012, in addition to the centrally-appointed DCE, districts had as little 1 or as many as 13MPs elected within their district boundaries.


the District Assemblies and, as a result, development initiatives within their districts. To

this end, I provide an overview of the local government structures, highlighting authorities

devolved to the District Assembly as well as sources of District Assembly revenue.

Ghana’s system of local government

Debrah (2014) describes Ghana’s decentralization structures as, “a fused or mixed type in

which institutions extending from the central government and deconcentrated departments

and agencies as well as grassroots institutions are aggregated in a single unit at the local

level” (pg. 55). Essentially, the institutions extending from the Central Government are the

Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs) and the District Assemblies, as well as the Presiden-

tial appointments of the DCE, 30% of Assembly Members, Town/Zonal/Urban,Town,Area

Council Members, and 5 of 15 members of each Unit Committee; the bureaucratic civil-

service backdrop of the District Assemblies refers to the deconcentrated departments and

agencies working at the District Assembly tier; the grassroots institutions refer to 70% of

Assembly Members and 10 of 15 Unit Committee members, the only elected officials in

Ghana’s entire system of local government (see Figure 1).

<Insert Figure 1 here>

At the top of the system of local government sits 10 Regional Coordinating Councils

(RCCs), one within each of Ghana’s 10 regions. Created by the 1993 Local Government

Act 462, RCCs are charged with coordinating and supervising local assemblies within their

region. Each RCC is chaired by a Presidentially-appointed Regional Minister. The duties and

functions of the Regional Minister are largely unspecified (Ahwoi 2010, 14), though Regional

Ministers often play important informal roles at the level of the District Assemblies.2 The rest

2From my field research it is clear that Regional Ministers often become directly involved in the AssemblyMembers’ voting process to approve of nominated DCEs. In particular, Regional Ministers are often presentduring the first and especially the second District Assembly vote, to encourage the approval of the President’snominee. Regional Ministers can offer money to secure the support of disaffecting assembly members, theycan remind the District Assemblies that it will take months for another nominee to come, or they cancoerce appointed assembly members to vote to approve by facilitating the immediate rejection of AssemblyMembers’ appointment to the District Assembly. In cases where a DCE is not yet nominated or when anominated DCE does not receive the 2/3 vote of approval necessary to confirm the President’s appointment,Regional Ministers, or perhaps their deputies, also assume the responsibilities of DCEs (Interviews).


of the council is composed of the Deputy Regional Minister, the DCE and Presiding Member

from each District Assembly, and two chiefs from the Regional House of Chiefs. Aditionally,

the regional heads of decentralized ministries sit as non-voting members (Crawford 2004,


Below the Regional level sits the District Assemblies. In response to the 1992 Consti-

tutional mandate that Parliament devolve power and resources to the local level, the above

mentioned 1993 Local Government Act 462 also shifted functions to the District Assemblies

(Debrah 2014, 49). the distinction between Metropolitan, Municipal, and Districts is based

on population size and economic activity. In particular, per Act 462 of the 1993 Local Gov-

ernment Act, Metropolitan Districts are to have populations of more than 250,000 residents,

Municipal Districts should have between 75,000 and 250,000 residents, while Districts have

less than 75,000 residents (Hoffman & Metzroth 2010, 6-7). These qualifications are not

always met in actuality (see Ahwoi 2010) as more districts are created or upgraded by the

party in power in order to appease local populations.3 Figure 2 shows how the total number

of districts significantly increased from 110 to 216 between 2000 and 2012.

<Insert Figure 2 here>

The District Assemblies have both a political head, in the DCE, and an apolitical bu-

reaucratic head, in the Metro./Municipal/District Coordinating Director (DCD). The DCE

is appointed by the President of Ghana, with the Assembly’s approval4, while the occupant

3Though the creation of districts is used as a political tool in order to gain votes, it is also the case thatthe creation of new administrative areas can backfire. For instance, see Lentz (2006) for insight into theexacerbation of land ownership and citizenship conflict in Ghana that occurs whenever administrative andpolitical units are drawn more narrowly.

4The appointment of DCEs requires a vote of approval by 2/3 of Assembly members. An appointedDCE has two chances to receive a 2/3 approval vote. It is not uncommon for an appointee to require twovotes, as assembly members have an interest in holding out for the first vote in order to receive some payoffor benefit before approving of the DCE the second time. The 2/3 approval vote requirement acts as acheck on Presidential appointments, though this check is significantly limited in three ways. First, 30%of Assembly members are themselves Presidential appointees, and are thus unlikely to vote to reject theDCE. In cases where Presidentially-appointed Assembly members are suspected of having voted against theDCE, the Assembly Members appointment can be immediately withdrawn and the member replaced priorto the second vote. Second, when DCE appointees do receive two votes of no confidence, it typically takesseveral months if not years for the President to nominate a new DCE. This means districts have to operatea considerable amount of time without an Assembly head. In the absence of a DCE, for one, the district’s


of the DCD position has climbed up the bureaucratic ranks to arrive at their position. The

DCD is allegiant to both the central government, via the Ministry of Local Government and

Rural Development (MLGRD), and to the DCE.5 The DCE, on the other hand, is the head

of the Assembly, and also serves as the Chairman of the Executive Committee, the most

powerful and important committee within the Assembly.6

Other than the DCE, the District Assemblies are composed of anywhere between 54 to

upwards of 130 members (USAID 2003, 9), 70% of which have been elected by the public

and 30% of which have been appointed by the President. The justification for this mixed

elected/appointed system within the District Assemblies is that such a system creates a

balance between national and local interests (Debrah 2014, 57-58) and it allows for the rep-

resentation of special groups (i.e. traditional authorities), underrepresented groups (e.g.,

women7, Muslims, occupational groups, etc.) and individuals with special skills (e.g., engi-

neers, etc.). As one former member of the consultative committee for the 1992 Constitution

put it, “At Constitution time, we were thinking local politics would be exempt from national

politics. That’s why we saved 1/3 [of the] seats for [the] government to appoint specialists

and experts. But appointed members are now just party boys who contribute poorly to the

development funds are administered by the Regional Minister, who is not likely to engage in any significantdevelopment planning or begin any major projects. As districts development plans halt and communityprojects suffer, Assembly Members realize the full effects of rejecting the initial DCE appointment. Finally,a recent development now occurring under President John Mahama’s time in power is that, after the twovotes rejection of the Presidential DCE appointee, the central government has waited several months onlyto re-appoint the same individual to the DCE position. To my knowledge this has occurred on at least oneoccasion (Akim Swedru). This move has obviously generated some controversy, but the Mahama governmentis defending it as a legal re-interpretation of the Local Government Act. For each of these reasons, the 2/3Assembly member vote of approval requirement is not nearly as important a check on centralized power asit might initially appear.

5A fault commonly identified in analyses of Ghana’s decentralization system is that bureaucratic depart-ments operating at the district level are not decentralized. These departments are sill appointed by andresponsible to their parent ministries in Accra. This is despite legislation within the 1992 Constitution (Ar-ticle 240[2][d]) which stipulates that the District Assemblies were to assume control over the deconcentratedbureaucratic departments. In December 2009, however, the 2003 Local Government Service Act (Act 656),which implements the 1992 Constitution’s directive regarding decentralizing bureaucratic departments, be-came operational. The result was that the management of these civil service employees operating at thelocal level was somewhat shifted from the central government to the local government (Debrah 2014, 61).Still, these deconcentrated departments are not under the full control of the District Assemblies.

6The Member(s) of Parliament within a district are also non-voting members of the District Assembly.7A 1998 government directive instructs that at least 30% of appointment members should be women. As

for elected members, Crawford (2004) writes that, in 2000, women made up only 5% of elected DA members.


assembly” (Interview, 12/06/2013). Similarly, the appointment of 30% of the District As-

sembly members is supposed to be done in consultation with important social and economic

groups, as well as the traditional authorities, within the District Assembly. Yet, in prac-

tice, this directive is often overlooked, which causes great consternation amongst traditional

authorities who worry about the continuous erosion of their power and influence.

Every member of the District Assembly must be a member of at least one legislative

committee within the assembly. The most powerful committee, the Executive Committee,

is not supposed to contain more than 1/3 of the total number of Assembly Members (Ayee

1996, 37). Related, the Presiding Member and Member(s) of Parliament are excluded from

the Executive Committee. This is intended to provide a check on the DCE when they report

on the activity of the executive committee to the District Assembly (Crook 1994, 17). In

reality, however, removing other powerful political players from the Executive Committee

only further protects the DCE’s independence and power.

The Presiding Member leads 3-4 general assemblies a year, while the rest of the District

Assemblies yearly activities take place through committee structures. Other than the Exec-

utive Committee, the other permanent committees consist of development planning, social

services, works/technical infrastructure, justice and security, and finance and administra-

tion. Still the Executive Committee reigns supreme. For instance, one complaint I regularly

received throughout my field research was from Assembly Members who reported that deci-

sions made on the floor of the District Assembly were later changed and implemented by the

Executive Committee without consulting the general assembly. Similarly, other Assembly

Members inherently acknowledged the power of the DCE when they described their lobby-

ing efforts to convince the DCE to implement some project within that Assembly Member’s

electoral area. Finally, other Assembly Members known to be affiliated with the opposition

party were less likely to have development projects bestowed on their electoral areas, as

compared to the Assembly Members whose party is in government.

District Assembly Authority & Revenue Sources


As we have seen, the District Assembly is the most powerful institution of local gov-

ernment in Ghana. Similarly, we have seen the extent to which the District Assembly is

dominated by the Executive Committee, headed by the Presidentially-appointed DCE. It

should come as no surprise then that the central government has devolved little independent

authority to the District Assemblies. However, that little independent power is devolved to

the local level should not obscure the fact that this system of local governance in Ghana’s

Fourth Republic has transferred more power, and has resulted in greater attention to local

development, than had previously ever existed (Owusu 2005). Importantly, local residents,

and particularly those residing in rural areas, have greater access to central government re-

sources. In the past, rural residents had to travel all the way to Accra before they could reach

central government officials. Similarly, the creation of more districts in 2004, 2008, and 2012

mean rural communities become bigger fish in their political representatives’ constituency

pond and thus receive greater concentrated attention from their political representatives.

This section will outline the extent of devolution of authority and revenue to the District

Assemblies, emphasizing the areas in which the DCE can most effectively implement change

in local communities.

The District Assemblies are generally understood as the principle institution in charge

of development activities at the local level, including coordinating development efforts from

both governmental and non-governmental sources. Crawford (2004) divides District Assem-

bly responsibilities into three categories: Deconcentrated public services, Delegated public

services, and Devolved public services. Deconcentrated public services refer to those services

provided by the central government which the District Assembly coordinates but does not

actively participate in the provision of that service. These deconcentrated public services in-

clude police, customs and excise, immigration, and the fire service. Delegated public services

are those which the District Assemblies are assigned to by a parent government ministry or

agency. Crawford (2004) gives the example of the provision of public lighting in conjunction

with the Electricity Corporation or the provision of public health in consultation with the


Ministry of Health. Finally, Devolved public services refer to those services over which the

District Assembly maintains the most authority and these projects tend to be related to

improving electoral results in favor of the President and DCE’s political party. As Crawford

(2009) describes, “DA activities are concentrated on small-scale construction projects such

as rural health posts, nurses’ and teachers’ accommodation, classroom blocks and boreholes,

favoured for their high visibility to the local electorate” (pgs. 72-73).

Within the realm of devolved public services, every District Assembly is required to draw

up three-year Medium Term Development Plans, subject to Ministry of Local Government

and Rural Development approval. As told to me by one DCE, the process proceeds as fol-

lows: First, the DCE and the entire bureaucratic/departmental staff move to the grassroots

to assess local needs.8 Once the needs of his/her District are assessed, the DCE and bureau-

cratic/departmental staff prioritize projects and draw up a proposed development plan. This

plan is debated within the Executive Committee and its modified form is presented to the

District Assembly. After final revisions, the plan is sent to the Regional Department where

the DCE has to go and defend it. If the District wants to complete any development project,

it must be in the Medium Term Development Plan. Unplanned development spending is

only allowed in times of emergency (Interview, 10/13/2013). In another District Assembly,

however, the MCE explained that, “for the Medium Term Development Plan, we call all the

assembly members to bring input. We put together the plan and then have a public hearing.

We assemble some public opinion leaders to air the plan and get their input and approval.

We then bring it back to the assembly for the general house to approve. After the plan is

approved, we have to arrange projects in terms of priority. Sometimes the priority plan has

to be re-arranged. In that case you have to complete an Action Plan and a Supplemenatry

Action Plan” (Interview, 11/11/2013).

In reference to the drawing up of the Medium Term Development Plan, one Assembly

8This DCE does not go to the Assembly Members to ask for community needs because every AssemblyMember represents several communities or villages, only one of which the Assembly Member hails from. Asa result, the Assembly Member will naturally want to push development projects to his/her home villageand will provide a biased assessment of local needs.


Member, emphasized the degree of DCE discretion over the plans: “Politics comes in. The

MCE at times wants to favor some people as a thank you for voting for the government.

[The Medium Term Development Plan] is at the discretion of the MCE and the Executive

Committee” (Interview, 11/04/2013). Though it is clear that the DCE has a large hand

in the creation of Medium Term Development Plans, other respondents, however, placed

greater emphasis on the ability of the DCE to implement emergency spending outside of the

Medium Term Development Plan. For instance, upon being prompted about this issue a

Senior District Planning Officer retorted that emergency funding is done at the DCE’s dis-

cretion, and is only tracked within the Quarterly Progress Reports (Interview, 10/23/2013).

Though some restraints are in place which restrict DCE power, the system still allows for a

great amount of DCE influence over development planning, and loopholes allow the DCE to

circumvent the Medium Term Development Plans when necessary.

Finally, in addition to control over development initiatives, DCEs also have some leeway

over the awarding of contracts. Per the Local Government Act 1993 and the Public Procure-

ment Law 2003 (Act 663), publicly-awarded contracts must be publicly announced and firms

can bid for contracts9. Contracts are typically awarded within the District Assembly. Two

crucial stipulations to this rule increase the DCE’s power in this process. First, the DCE

can create service contracts on their own, as long as they stay under 50,000 GHc.10 Second,

contracts between 50,000 and 200,000 GHc must be reviewed by the District Tender Board,

of which the DCE is the chairman. As the chairman of both the Executive Committee and

District Assembly which awards contracts and the District Tender Board which reviews con-

tracts, the DCE has a good deal of influence in this process. Both of these stipulations offer

the DCEs significant opportunities to influence the system of awarding contracts.

9Another category of contract awards is single-source or sole-source procurement. These awards applywhen goods or services are only available from one particular supplier. In these cases, the contract does nothave to be advertised publicly and the district can hire the supplier outright. In order for this to happen,the DCE must first seek approval from the National Procurement Authority, empowered by the PublicProcurement Act 663. The National Procurement Authority will do a background check to ensure this isthe only provider before the contract can be awarded.

10Since 2007, the value of the Ghana Cedi vis-a-vis the U.S. Dollar has continuously depreciated. Whilethe exchange rate was roughly 1GHc:1USD in 2008, the rate has varied between 3.2-3.8GHc:1USD in 2015.


Through this system of local government, an extensive range of public services is provided

at the local level. At each level of public services (deconcentrated, delegated, and devolved),

the central government maintains significant, if not almost complete, authority. Account-

ability thus flows upward to the central government, instead of downward to the public. As

the centrally-appointed head of the District Assembly, the DCE obviously acquires a great

deal of individual authority from this system and is, “undoubtedly the most powerful person

in the DA system” (Crawford 2009, 62). The authority of the DCEs is constrained, however,

by a structure which limits the amount of unrestricted transfers from the central government

and in a context where local revenue raising ventures (i.e. taxes) are insufficient for district

spending needs.

In particular, the revenue eded from the central government to the District Assemblies

is tightly controlled and makes up the majority of District Assemblies’ budgets (Hoffman &

Metzroth 2010, 7). Second, the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) is a block grant

directed to the District Assembly that is technically discretionary. In reality, an estimated

15% to 25% of the funds are fully discretional (Crawford 2004; Hoffman & Metzroth 2010).

Still, unlike the central government transfers, the District Assembly usually decides where

DACF-funded development projects are placed. This is the arena in which local politics and

the authority of the DCE come into play. Finally, the District Assemblies are empowered

to collect their own revenue through taxes but the low economic base means a low amount

of funds are amassed (Hoffman & Metzroth 2010). Issuing and collecting taxes has at times

resulted in serious damages to the relationships between the district and local communities

(Ayee 1996, 42).

The Relationship between DCEs and MPs

Alongside Ghana’s system of local government exists Members of Parliament (MPs) pop-

ularly elected per constituency. As the constituency-level representative in Ghana’s House

of Parliament, MPs’ primary role is to participate in the legislative process. Yet, service to

the nation as a good legislator is not enough to ensure re-election. In addition to frequent


visits back to the constituency from their residence in Accra, Ghana’s MPs must implement

development projects in their communities if they wish to remain competitive in the next

election. MPs face several difficulties in the never-ending pursuit of development initiatives.

First, though the MP is a national-level politician who is better positioned to lobby Accra-

based ministries for development, Ghanaian voters want to see their representative and are

very sensitive about feeling forgotten while their MP enjoys life in Accra. This requires

MPs to travel back to their constituencies frequently, though a busy schedule and Ghana’s

poor roads network can make visits back home quite arduous. Secondly, though constituents

expect development projects, MPs are only allocated a very small portion of the District

Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) with which to pay for these projects.11

In addition to the ministries, MPs can also lobby international NGOs for development.

But there is no guarantee that such an opportunity will be found. Similarly, it is also the

case that funding sources are generally very limited, particularly if the MP represents the

political party in opposition, and in many cases MPs spend large portions of their personal

wealth within their constituencies. Finally, MPs face a particularly formidable challenger

for local popularity in the DCE. In contrast to the Accra-based MPs with little automatic

access to development funding, the DCEs reside within the community and have significant

control over District Assembly development planning, the awarding of contracts12, and the

placement of development projects.

As the two most prominent officials in a given area, the relationship between MPs and

DCEs is often competitive (Debrah 2014, 51; Ahwoi 2010). The position of DCE is less

prestigious and the position faces two term limits. As such, MPs typically perceive DCEs as

gearing up to challenge the MP for the Parliamentary seat in a future election (Ayee 1999,

11Several calls for the creation of a Member of Parliament Constituency Development Fund (CDF) havebeen raised during Ghana’s Fourth Republic. Former President Atta Mills even promised that such a CDFwould be put in place by 2009. As of 2015, however, no MP CDF exists in Ghana.

12Though DCEs serve as the Chairman of the District Tender Board, one of the MPs within the districtalso serves on that board. When the DCE and MP are of different political parties, this likely serves as acheck on the DCEs influence, assuming that the MP is fully aware of, and present within, District TenderBoard meetings.


60). When the MP and DCE are of the same political party, this level of competition is

typically moderate (ibid, 58). After all both actors have an interest in improving the party’s

support at the local level. One example from my field research was of a case where the DCE

had previously served as the MP’s campaign manager. When asked about development in the

district, the DCE replied that (s)he does not complete any project without first getting the

MP’s approval (Interview, 11/15/2013). In an alternative example, another district’s DCE

and MP were of the same political party, but the MP was also preoccupied as a Minister

in Accra. In this case, the MP gave the DCE power of attorney to administer the MP’s

Common Fund on his/her behalf (Interview 11/17/2013).

But when the MP and DCE are of different political parties, the relationship between

these two actors can be quite competitive, even fierce. As an appointed District Assem-

bly Member described, “Any project that needs financial support, the DCE and MP work

together [if] they are from the same party. If the DCE is of a party other than the MP,

they can’t always work together; they will try to thwart each other’s projects” (Interview,

10/23/2013). Almost ensuring a degree of animosity, the President sometimes appoints the

unsuccessful Parliamentarian candidate of the last election as DCE, thus causing predictable

problems within MP-DCE working relationships. Further, the DCE controls the disburse-

ment of the MP’s portion of the Common Fund, and every MP has heard stories of DCEs

who have refused to disburse money to their corresponding MP(s). A common strategy used

by DCEs to ‘sabotage’ MPs is to implement development projects with MP support while

forgetting to notify the MP of the project’s opening ceremony: “ , as DCE, would not

invite the MP to inaugurate projects so (s)he became popular” (Interview, 11/15/2013). If

the MP is not present at the ceremony, the public will assume the MP is not involved.

Particularly when the MP and DCE are of different political parties, then, they compete

against one another for constituent support. If the MP builds a school in one community,

for instance, the DCE feels tough pressure to respond with a corresponding development

project in another.



As illustrated above, the relationship between MPs and their DCEs can be quite tenuous,

particularly if the pair come from different political parties. In this chapter I argue that the

appointment of a DCE of a different political party from the local MP(s) generates political

competition at the local level. Voters in Ghana, like voters in other African democracies,

expect and respond to provisions of development goods by their politicians. As each of these

officials seek greater constituent support for their parties, this competition is played out in

development goods, and particularly those development goods which are both cheap and

highly visible to the electorate (e.g., the construction of water boreholes, connections to the

electric grid, the building of primary and secondary schools, etc.). This leads to my principal


Hypothesis 1: Unfriendly13 MP-DCE pairs will cause a greater turnover of votes in

the subsequent national and local elections as compared to friendly MP-DCE pairs.

I predict that voters exposed to an unfriendly MP- DCE pair get a better sense about

the effectiveness of each political party and will adjust their votes accordingly. There are

two reasons for this. First, alternations in power at the national-level, in both 2000 and

2008, mean that both the NDC and the NPP have had the opportunity to appoint DCEs in

districts across the country. Thus, for the first time in Ghana’s history, the Fourth Republic

has made it so communities situated in either the Nkrumah-Rawlings (present-day NDC)

or Danquah-Busia-Dombo (present-day NPP) political traditions have had DCEs of the

opposing tradition appointed to their districts. Not only are these officials appointed, but

they are equipped with significant resources with which to develop the district. As unfriendly

MP-DCE actors compete for constituent support via development, stronghold communities

which had never seen a member of the opposing political tradition do anything for their

area now have a DCE equipped with resources whose disbursement is intended to court

13Unfriendly Pairs means, in the term prior to the election under analysis, the MP and DCE were ofdifferent political parties. Third party and Independent MPs are excluded from the analysis because we cannot be sure with whom the MP sat in Parliament.


votes. While stronghold communities may never have had a reason to vote for the opposing

political tradition, except for disgust at their own party’s ineptitude, now voters experience

the opposing party’s rule within their very own communities. Voters can actively compare

the effectiveness of the MP vis-a-vis the DCE and thus make a more informed decision about

which party to support in the next election.

The second reason why unfriendly MP-DCE combinations should result in greater swing

votes is because, as alluded to previously, an unfriendly combination is more likely to per-

petuate an escalating development projects race as compared to more relaxed and friendly

MP-DCE combinations. Friendly MP-DCE pairs are both working to increase support for

their same political party and the implementation of joint projects, or at least the portrayal

of projects as joint endeavors, is more common in these friendly contexts. Since two actors

are working toward the same goal, they can each somewhat rely on one another’s efforts.

There is no need to complete development projects at a grueling pace given the absence of

competition from an opposing political actor. Comparatively strenuous relationships charac-

terize unfriendly MP-DCE combinations, on the other hand, as each political actor works to

attract voters. Voters in developing countries in general, and African countries in particular,

are more concerned with politicians’ abilities to deliver public goods provision as compared

to distinct theoretical political ideologies (Wantchekon 2003; Baldwin 2013). Indeed, a ma-

jor aspect comprising the nature of unfriendly MP-DCE competition is along public goods

provisions. As the unfriendly MP-DCE pair work to upstage one another, a district is likely

to receive greater effort on the part of the politicians which should translate into greater

developmental initiatives.

Further, in the elections following an Unfriendly MP-DCE pairing, I also expect the

direction of the increased vote volatility to favor the DCE’s party votes and damage the MP’s

political party’s votes. Not only are some communities experiencing democratic governance

from the opposing party (through the DCE) often for the first time in their localities, and

thus DCE party votes should increase, but DCE’s are also better equipped to provide more


effective development vis-a-vis the MPs. DCEs reside within the communities year-round

and are armed with a significantly greater portion of the DACF as compared to the Accra-

based MPs. Their proximity to the district is no small advantage for DCEs. When citizens

have problems or issues they want raised, they can (and do!) travel to the DCE’s residence in

the morning hours. Often DCE’s begin their day receiving citizen after citizen who seeks the

political actor’s ear on some issue. As for the MPs, technically they do have the advantage

of being able to lobby the ministries for inclusion of their constituency within a planned

national-level development project, but MPs also often have a hard time taking credit for

such national-level initiatives. DCEs should win the unfriendly MP-DCE competition, and,

if so, the evidence will be born out in increased DCE party votes and decreased MP party

votes in elections immediately following the unfriendly pairing. This prediction is captured

in Hypothesis 1a:

– Hypothesis 1a: The direction of the increased vote total should favor the DCE’s

political party

Alternatively, it might be the case that voters actually resent the Presidential appoint-

ment of such a powerful individual in the DCE within their communities. There exists a

great deal of debate in Ghana about whether DCEs should continue to be appointed by the

President. Indeed, both NPP and NDC politicians have encouraged the election of DCEs

when they have been in opposition, though these same officials have quickly quieted their

tune after their party won the Presidential election and hence the right to appoint DCEs.

Thus, the presence of an unfriendly MP-DCE pairing prior to an election might actually

mobilize voters behind their locally-elected MP and his/her political party, in comparison to

areas with relaxed and friendly MP-DCE pairs.

Though the analysis includes national (Presidential and Parliamentarian) elections for

2000 through 2012, I expect the effect of Unfriendly MP-DCE Pairs to be less operative in

both the elections prior to 2004 and in the Presidential Runoff elections (2000 and 2008).

First, the reason for qualifying the 2000 elections is because this electoral period was heavily


influenced by the longevity of NDC rule up to that time. President J.J. Rawlings had been the

democratically-elected President since 1992, but he had also ruled as an authoritarian leader

of the country since 1982. When Rawlings announced that he would abide by the Presidential

two-term limit as stipulated in the 1992 Constitution, Ghana’s voters were heavily influenced

by the possibility of a democratic transfer of power. As such, the effect of Unfriendly MP-

DCE Pairs might not cause as much vote turnover due to effective political competition

between the MP and DCE because voters were deeply motivated by the possibility of the

Fourth Republic’s first turnover of presidential power, should NPP’s John Kufuor win the

2000 election. This would be the first time in 21 years that someone of the Danquah-Busia-

Dombo political tradition, of which the present-day NPP is a part of, might be elected

President14. We thus might expect to see an increase in NPP votes across each of the

districts, but particularly those districts whose constituencies had elected an NPP MP to

power in the prior (1996) election.

Hypothesis 2: The effect of Unfriendly MP-DCE Pairs as increasing local competition

in favor of the DCE’s political party should not begin until after the NDC faced its first

defeat in the 2000 elections. Instead, the 2000 elections should show us that districts

with NPP MPs, and thus Unfriendly MP-DCE pairings in the prior term, rallied voters

behind the NPP party in order to force the Fourth Republic’s first transfer of power.

Secondly, as pertains to Presidential Runoff elections, the mechanisms which guide votes

during Presidential Runoffs are less about competition between the MP and DCE over the

last four years and more about each party’s surge of national resources and the distribution

of patronage to increase both voter turnout and votes for the respective parties. As such,

Hypothesis 3 states:

Hypothesis 3: The effect of Unfriendly MP-DCE Pairs on changes in votes will be

14The last head of state belonging to the Danquah-Busia-Dombo political tradition was, arguably, theSupreme Military Council under Fred Akuffo. Akuffo was deposed by the Armed Forces RevolutionaryCouncil, of which J.J. Rawlings was a leading member, in 1979.


muted in the Presidential Runoff elections where parties’ national resources heavily

mobilize each party’s respective political base.

Model Overview

Dependent Variable and Primary Independent Variable

In this paper, I use OLS regressions with robust standard errors to predict changes in

party votes in communities where the MP and DCE are of different political parties (Un-

friendly Pairs), as compared to communities where these actors are of the same political party

(Friendly Pairs). To assess the effect of Unfriendly versus Friendly pairings, my dependent

variable is the constituency-level differences in respective Presidential and Parliamentary

party votes from one election to the next. So, using the 2012 races as an example, four

outcome variables are predicted: 2012 minus 2008 NDC Presidential votes, 2012 minus 2008

NDC Parliamentary votes, 2012 minus 2008 NPP Presidential votes, and 2012 minus 2008

NPP Parliamentary votes. My overall analysis includes national-level elections from 2000 to


The primary independent variable under investigation is whether Unfriendly MP-DCE

pairings, as compared to Friendly Pairs, result in increased DCE party votes, increased MP

party votes, or no significant difference in party votes, in the subsequent election. Unfriendly

Pairs are coded dichotomously, where 1 represents an Unfriendly Pair in the prior term and 0

represents a Friendly Pair in the prior term. For instance, NPP candidate John Kufuor won

the 2000 Presidential election and subsequently dismissed all of former-President Rawlings’

DCEs. Kufuor then appointed NPP DCEs in each district.15 If an MP elected in 2000

belongs to the NPP political party, he/she will automatically be coded as a Friendly Pair

15Even within opposition party strongholds, the President goes to great ends to find an NPP-affiliatedindividual who would qualify as a DCE. One former DCE explained that (s)he had been working in Accraprior to her/his appointment. One day this individual received a call from the President’s Chief of Staffwho explained that (s)he was needed at the Office of the President for a meeting the following day. Thisindividual did not attend NPP meetings or openly affiliate with the NPP but it turns out that her/his nameand place of birth were discovered on an old NPP members list from when the individual had attended theUniversity of Legon several years prior. This individual was appointed DCE of her/his hometown districtafter this meeting.


(coded as 0), considering all the DCEs are also NPP. This variable is then used in the

2004 elections analysis16. In constituencies where NDC MPs were elected in 2000, those

MPs’ relationships with the NPP DCEs are automatically coded as Unfriendly (coded as

1). Constituencies which had elected third party or independent MPs are excluded from the

models because these MPs may have either remained independent or may have sat with one

or the other party in Parliament (see Figure 3).

<Insert Figure 3 here>

Controlling for Structural Conditions Impacting MP-DCE Relationships

Three structural conditions impacting MP-DCE relationships are (1) the Number of MPs

within the District, (2) the Type of District, and (3) whether the district was newly created.

First, as explained in footnote 1 in this chapter, multiple constituencies sometimes fall

within any given Metropolitan, Municipality, or District. Since MPs are elected at the

constituency-level, multiple MPs are sometimes elected within one District. In these cases,

a single DCE is paired with multiple MPs and the competitive nature of an Unfriendly MP-

DCE pair may be dulled or enhanced in the presence of other either Unfriendly or Friendly

MP-DCE pairs. The variable, Multiple MPs, is coded as 1 for constituencies whose MPs are

not the only MP in the district, and 0 for constituencies whose MPs are the sole MPs within

the district.

Second, the types of districts are Metropolitan (coded as 3), Municipal (coded as 2), and

Districts (coded as 1). These district types have decreasing population sizes and economic

bases, and are assigned different weights in the sharing formula used to determine the DACF.

These differences could have an impact on the nature of the relationship between MPs and

DCEs, including the development opportunities available to the DCEs.

Third, when new districts are created it takes time to set up the District Assembly

and to appoint and orient bureaucratic department heads to the new district’s terrain and

particularities. New districts’ staff may be less efficient as compared to older districts, and

16Remember, we are controlling for the presence of an Unfriendly, as opposed to Friendly, Pair in the priorterm. This is in order to test for impact of an Unfriendly Pair in the following election.


this may hinder the DCE’s ability to initiate development projects and sway voters. Further,

the creation of narrower administrative units has been known to instigate local conflicts

(Lentz 2006), which may preoccupy the attention of the DCE and/or MP(s) and reduce the

provision of development goods. New District 04/08 is coded dichotomously, where newly

created districts in the prior term are coded as 1 and all other districts are coded as 0.17

Controlling for Structural Conditions Impacting Local Politics

I also control for 8 structural conditions which generally affect local politics and voter

perceptions leading up to an election. First, I use a dummy variable to control for the possible

effect that the announcement of a new constituency or district might have on voters. Ghana’s

politicians use constituency or district creation to appeal for constituent votes. For instance,

Ahwoi (2010) shows how the creation and upgrading of districts during Ghana’s Fourth

Republic has not been done in accordance with the rules spelled out in Local Government

Act, 1993 (Act 462). In particular, municipalities upgraded to metropolises did not meet

minimum population requirements, new municipalities did not consist of a “single compact

settlement” as required, and, “of the 31 districts that were created, very few met Act462’s

requirement of ‘economic viability”’ (pgs. 3-4). Instead of structural requirements, politics

largely determine new or upgraded districts. I predict that the announcement of a new

constituency or district (coded as 1) will correspond with increased votes for the President’s

party in the subsequent election.

Second, I control for the overall competitive nature of the elections within each con-

stituency. Naturally more competitive constituencies may generally result in greater vote

volatility, outside of MP-DCE pairings. To control for level of competition in the prior elec-

tion, I use the Parliamentary winner’s share of the votes, in decimal form, at the constituency

level in the prior Parliamentary race. An increase in this variable means fewer votes were

17No new districts were created until 2004, so this variable is not included in Tables 1-3. For Tables 4-6, ahigh degree of collinearity is introduced in the models when controlling for both Multiple MPs and whetherthe district was newly created (ex: New District08). Including either Multiple MPs or New District did notsubstantially change the results. Models controlling for New District are presented in Tables 4-6).


‘up for grabs’ and thus the election was less competitive.

Next, I control for five different demographic characteristics derived from Ghana’s 2010

census which may impact the functioning of local politics18. These are (a) linguistic diversity,

(b) percentage of agricultural households, (c) education rates, (d) religious demographics,

and (e) ethnic group population percentages.

(a) In global settings, diversity has been linked to lower levels of trust and can thus nega-

tively impact economic success (Knack & Keefer 1997), the provisions of public goods

(Alesina, Baqir, & Easterly 1999; Vigdor 2004), and encourage rent-seeking behavior

by politicians (Franck & Rainier 2012; Knack & Keefer 1997). Because speaking the

same language can play an important role in generating understanding and trust within

ethnically-diverse communities (Banerjee, Iyer, & Somanathan 2005, 639), I control for

Linguistic Diversity, captured as the inverse of the Simpson’s/Herfindahl-Hirschman

Index based on 10 ethno-linguistic categories within the Ghana 2010 Population ad

Housing Census. This index measures the probability that any two individuals se-

lected at random belong to same ethno-linguistic group. I take the inverse of this

index so that increased measures of this variable refer to increased levels of diversity.19.

(b) I use the fraction of households engaged in agricultural practices to control for degree

of ‘ruralness’. Ghana’s 2010 Census does produce a rural and urban indicator, but

this measure is only based on population size (localities with 5,000 or more persons

are automatically classified as urban) and does not take into account the level of

development of the district. ‘Agric Rate’ is coded such that a 0.4 means 40% of the

households are engaged in agricultural production activities. These activities include

18The linear regression models presented in Tables 1-6 use constituencies as the level of observation.Ghana’s 2010 census reports data at the district level. As a result, these 5 demographic controls are imputedfrom the district level onto the constituency observation. For instance, if a district has more than oneconstituency within it, the district-level data is applied to both constituencies. Though this imputationimplements an assumption of homogeneity (i.e. an ecological inference) which may bias the results, it wasdeemed more important that these controls be included within the analysis.

19Alternatively, I also control for Tribal Diversity in case the politically salient groups exist within languagegroups (Fearon 1999, 5). Alternating between Ethno-Linguistic and Tribal measures of diversity did nothave substantive impacts on the models and only the models controlling for Ethno-Linguistic Diversity arepresented in Tables 1-6.


crop farming, tree planting, fish farming, or animal rearing.20

(c) The more educated a population, the more likely it is that voters are informed about lo-

cal and national politics. Alternatively, educational attainment can also signify wealth

and individuals with higher educational attainment are sometimes associated with the

NPP. This may be because the NPP espouses an ‘elitist’ political tradition or that the

party champions a pro-capitalist rhetoric. Either way, to control for education, the

models include the respective fraction of the population who have attended primary

school (excluded as the reference category), secondary school, post-secondary school,

and who have not attended school.

(d) In Ghana, Muslims in the southern half of the country often reside in segregated Zongo,

or ‘stranger’, settlements within the community. Conversely, in the North, Muslims

often make up the majority of the population and are well-integrated into society.

Similarly, the historical forced expulsion of Nigerians by President Busia’s government

in 1969 particularly terrorized Zongo communities, because they also housed a large

percentage of Muslim Nigerians resident in Ghana. This history has trickled its way

into politics of Ghana’s Fourth Republic and Muslims are now more favorable of the

NDC and often shy away from the NPP whose political tradition is associated with

the Busia government. I thus control for the fraction of residents who are Muslim as

derived from the 2010 Population and Housing Census.

(e) In both African and Ghanaian politics, ethnicity is consistently the best predictor

of citizen voting behavior (Bratton, Bhavnani, & Chen 2012; Fridy 2007). Ghana’s

Statistical Services collects tribal data in conducting the 2010 census and collates those

tribes into major ethno-linguistic groups when reporting ethnicity population figures.

The fraction of the population falling within these 9 categories (Akan, Ga-Dangbe,

Ewe, Guan, Gurma, Mole Dagbani, Grusi, Mande, Others) are controlled for in the

models, where Ga-Dangbe serves as the reference category.

20According to the 2010 Census Report, only about 1% of households engaged in agricultural activitiesare involved in fish farming.



When John Jerry Rawlings transitioned his authoritarian regime, the Provisional Na-

tional Defense Council (PNDC), to democratic rule (Ghana’s Fourth Republic) in 1992,

Rawlings contested the 1992 elections as the leader of the National Democratic Congress

(NDC) political party. Rawlings won the Presidential elections in 1992 and 1996 and stepped

down from power at the end of his second term in 2000. The 2000 elections marked the sec-

ond time for a peaceful transfer of power via the ballot box in Ghana’s history.21 John

Kufuor (NPP) was elected President in two rounds of voting. Kufuor was re-elected in 2004

and stepped down at the conclusion of his second term in 2008. The 2008 elections marked

the second time a peaceful transfer of power occurred, as John Atta Mills (NDC) won the

Presidency in two rounds of voting. Atta Mills passed away in July 2011 just before the

2012 elections and his Vice President, John Mahama, was elected President in 2012.

To summarizing the results, I found that the presence of an Unfriendly Pair (i.e. an

opposition MP alongside the Presidentially-appointed DCE) in a constituency increased the

Presidential party votes and decreased opposition party votes in the Presidential and Parlia-

mentary elections of 2004, 2008 and 2012. These results conform Hypothesis 1. Similarly, as

stipulated in Hypotheses 2 and 3, the Unfriendly Pair effect did not have an impact in the

same direction for the 2000 and Presidential Runoff elections, as compared to the 2004-2008


2000 Elections

Beginning with the 2000 Elections, as predicted in Hypothesis 2, constituencies which

had NPP MPs alongside NDC DCEs had significantly decreased NDC Presidential (-5.2%,

Model 2) and Parliamentary (-8.7%, Model 4) votes in 2000 from 1996, as compared to

21The first peaceful transfer of power via the ballot box occurred after a bloody takeover of governmentled to elections. When the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) deposed Lieutenant-General FredAkuffo as head of state in the 1979 coup and implemented a bloody ‘clean-up’ of corruption, the AFRCsubsequently organized democratic elections also held in 1979. Dr. Hilla Limann of the People’s NationalParty (PNP) was elected to the Presidency in relatively free and fair elections. Dr. Limann’s Presidencywas short-lived, however, as J.J. Rawlings overthrew the Limann government in 1981.


constituencies with Friendly Pairs. Similarly, districts with Unfriendly Pairs had increased

NPP Presidential (+3.0%, Model 6) and Parliamentary (+11.4%, Model 8) votes in 2000

from 1996, as compared to constituencies with Friendly Pairs. The impact of local-level

competition was trumped by an urgency to vote the NDC out of power. Other substan-

tive variables significantly correlated with votes were Multiple MPs, Level of Competition,

Secondary School Attendance, Muslims (%) and a few ethnic variables (see Table 1).

2000 Presidential Runoff Elections

In the 2000 Presidential Runoff election (see Table 2), the effect of having a NPP MP in

the prior term is correlated with increased NPP Presidential votes by 3.1% (Model 12). The

effect of having a NPP MP in the prior term also corresponds increased NDC Presidential

votes in the restricted model (Model 9) but this effect was nullified by the introduction of

several structural factors impacting local politics, including level of competition and select

religious and ethnic variables (Model 10). Just as Models 1-8 showed that constituencies with

NPP MPs in the prior term had increased their votes for the NPP, particularly in the Par-

liamentary race (+11.4% in Model 8), constituencies with NPP MPs (i.e. Unfriendly Pairs)

also increased their support for the NPP in the runoff election, as compared to constituencies

with NDC MPs (i.e. Friendly Pairs).

2004 Elections

The 2004 elections are the first time we see a shift in the voting pattern. As compared

to the 2000 elections, votes in the NDC Presidential (-3.7% in Model 14), though not Par-

liamentary, race decreased in constituencies which had elected NDC MPs in the prior term.

Conversely, votes in the NPP Presidential (+5.7% in Model 18) and Parliamentary (+7.9%

in Model 20) races increased in constituencies which had elected NDC MPs in 2000.

2008 Elections

In the 2008 Presidential Elections, John Atta Mills (NDC) faced off against Nana Akuffo

Addo (NPP). The first round election was very competitive, with both candidates within 3%


of the 50% first-past-the-post mark, forcing a run-off. The NPP had just enjoyed 8 years of

power under President John Kufuor and the NDC was looking to again take the presidency.

In this context, then, it is telling that the same trends in 2004 continue on into 2008. In par-

ticular, the Unfriendly Pairs variable is significant across each of the models and, like 2004,

is correlated with depreciated NDC votes and appreciated NPP votes. Those constituencies

which had Unfriendly MP-DCE pairings, meaning they had elected a NDC MP into office in

the prior term, again decreased their NDC Presidential votes (-4.4%, Model 22) and Parlia-

mentary votes (-7.0%, Model 24) as compared to constituencies which had elected a NPP MP

into office in 2004. We would rather expect constituencies which had both an NPP MP and

NPP DCE to decrease their NDC votes in the subsequent election. Similarly, constituencies

which had elected a NDC MP into office in 2004, increased their NPP Presidential (+3.7%,

Model 26) and Parliamentary votes (+5.3%, Model 28) as compared to constituencies which

had a Friendly Pair (NPP MP + NPP DCE).

2008 Presidential Runoff Elections

In the party results within the 2008 Presidential Runoff as compared to the 2008 Regu-

lar elections, constituencies with Unfriendly MP-DCE Pairs in 2004-2008 were significantly

correlated with increased NDC votes (+1.7%, Model 30) and decreased NPP votes (-1.2%,

Model 32), as compared to constituencies with Friendly MP-DCE Pairs. So, in other words,

constituencies which had elected a NDC MP to office in 2004 increased their NDC votes

during the 2008 Presidential Runoff and decreased their NPP votes. As predicted in Hy-

pothesis 3, this is reflective of both the NDC and NPPs attempts to mobilize their respective

bases. NDC areas increased their NDC votes as more voters were mobilized to the cause,

while NPP areas increased their NPP votes. This dynamic is less affected by the nature of

the MP-DCE Pair over the prior 4 years.

2012 Elections

The Unfriendly Pair trends established in the 2004 and 2008 Elections are confirmed

in 2012. Now, however, constituencies which had elected a NPP MP in 2008 are signifi-


cantly correlated with increased NDC votes (Presidential: +2.1% (Model 34); Parliamentary:

+7.1% (Model 36)) and decreased NPP votes (Presidential: -2.0% (Model 38); Parliamen-

tary: -2.9% (Model 40)) as compared to the prior 2008 general elections. Like the 2004 and

2008 elections, the effect of Unfriendly Pairs is stronger for the Parliamentary races than for

the Presidential race. This trend is confirmed from 2004 and 2008 because now constituen-

cies which had an elected NPP MP alongside a NDC DCE increased their support for the

NDC and decreased their support for the NPP, as compared to constituencies which had

elected NDC MPs. Consistent across the 2004-2012 general elections, then, constituencies

which had an opposing MP and DCE increased their votes for the DCE’s party significantly

more than constituencies which enjoyed a Friendly MP-DCE Pair.

<Insert Tables 1-6 here>


The evidence presented consistently shows that from 2004 to 2012 regular elections con-

stituencies which had Unfriendly MP-DCE Pairs were significantly more likely to increase

their votes for the DCE’s party, in both the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections. In

one sense, this is a strange result. Why would NPP votes increase in the 2004 and 2008

elections and then decrease in the 2012 elections in constituencies which had elected NDC

MPs in the prior term? Similarly, why should NDC votes decrease in the 2004 (Pres. only)

and 2008 elections and then increase in the 2012 elections in constituencies which had elected

NDC MPs in the prior term?22 Why do votes for the locally-elected MPs party diminish

in the next election when that MP is in an Unfriendly Pair as compared to increased votes

for locally-elected MPs’ parties when that MP is in a Friendly Pair? As I have argued,

the increased DCE party votes are due to the effects of local competition engendered by the

presence of a MP and DCE of different political parties, as compared to those districts which

had a Friendly MP-DCE pairing in the prior election. However, it is necessary to address

22Note that the reverse relationship also holds for constituencies which had elected NPP MPs in the priorterm.


several alternatives to this interpretation of the regression results.

First, one might argue that constituencies which had voted in an opposition MP were

more likely to have high levels of opposition party votes in both the Presidential and Par-

liamentary elections and thus less room to increase support for this party. In other words,

the only direction that the constituency’s level of vote changes could go, in these cases, was

down. Conversely, assuming these constituencies also had low levels of government party

votes, the only direction that the constituency’s level of vote changes could go was up. This

interpretation suggests that the dependent variable is biased because, though it controls for

changes in party votes, it does not capture party vote starting points.

I have several reactions to this. First, just because strongholds have high levels of votes

for one particular party does not automatically mean constituents will engage in swing

voting. Second, the vast majority of Ghana’s constituencies display rather competitive voting

patterns. Only in 21.7% to 42.2% of constituencies is either the NDC or NPP gaining more

than 65% of the vote (see Figure 4). Further, the vast majority of party strongholds are

located in the Volta and Ashanti Regions, respectively. Though ideally I would have been

able to control for NDC or NPP votes in each election, this variable correlates too highly

with Unfriendly Pairs because constituencies with high (or low) NDC votes in the 1996

Presidential or Parliamentary election for example, are less (or more) likely to have voted in

an NPP MP (i.e. an Unfriendly Pair). However, given the territorial concentration of party

strongholds, I inserted a dummy variable for both the Volta and Ashanti Regions within the

regressions. If the inability of party votes to increase in party strongholds really was driving

the results, then the inclusion of these regional dummy variables should have altered the

effect of Unfriendly Pairs on party votes. As it were, the inclusion of these control variables

did not substantially effect the significance of Unfriendly Pairs.

< Insert Figure 4 here >

A second alternative interpretation of the results is that perhaps what voters really want

is to elect MPs who are of the same political party as the President. As I have argued


earlier, MPs do not receive very much outright development funding and instead have to

lobby at the ministries for their constituency’s inclusion in national development projects. If

MPs belong to the opposition party, however, they may face a harder time gaining access to

the Presidentially-appointed Minister’s ear as compared to MPs of the government’s party.

Baldwin (2013) shows how voters in Zambia pay close attention to the relationship between

their local chiefs and potential Members of Parliament when voting and it is not unreasonable

to expect Ghanaian voters to take into account their MP’s relationship with the President

when voting.

Two reasons, however, make it difficult for voters to award or strip the MP of their

title based on his/her belonging to the President’s political party. First, Presidential and

Parliamentary elections are held at the same time in Ghana and, given the overall close

nature of Ghana’s elections in general, voters may have a hard time predicting who will win

the Presidential election.Though constituents have access to the radio and other forms of

media, constituents, and particularly rural residents, are also somewhat insulated within their

communities and regions and receive biased news about the state of the nation. For instance,

during the course of my fieldwork, it was not uncommon for a respondent/interviewee/passer-

by in NPP-leaning areas to explain that they had attempted to think about who would

win the Presidential election when casting their votes in the MP election, but that all the

information they had received pointed to the incorrect fact that Akuffo-Addo (NPP) was

going to win the 2012 Presidential election. Similarly, it is not uncommon to hear voters

or respondents back-up their theories of electoral fraud harming their candidate(s) in past

elections by saying something like ‘Everyone knows no one voted for [the winning candidate]’.

I have found that these voters’ location and information networks greatly bias the news

regarding the generally highly competitive nature of Ghana’s elections.

Second, while voters may allow predictions about who is likely to win the Presidency

impact their votes for MP, this mechanism cannot fully explain the outcomes as presented

in Tables 3-6, particularly the switch in voting patterns in the 2012 elections as compared


to 2004 and 2008. First, after John Kufuor (NPP) won the Presidential election in 2000, we

could reasonably expect voters to predict that Kufuor, a popular president with incumbent

advantage, would win his re-election bid in 2004. That constituencies which had voted in

NDC MPs in 2000 were correlated with decreased NDC (Presidential only) and increased

NPP votes in 2004, according to this coattails logic, might not be surprising. Turning to the

2008 elections (presented in Table 4), President Kufuor’s two terms had expired meaning a

sitting President was not running in the election. In the battle for the Presidency, Akuffo-

Addo (NPP) faced Atta-Mills (NDC) and the election was so close that it forced a run-off,

which Atta-Mills won. When we look at the 2008 election analysis in Table 4, we see that

in constituencies which had elected a NDC MP in 2004 decreased their NDC votes and

increased their NPP votes as compared to constituencies which had elected a NPP MP in

2004. Not only would voters have had a harder time predicting the Presidential winner

in an election without an incumbent candidate, how can we explain that voters which had

previously elected a NDC MP would be correlated with decreased NDC votes and increased

NPP votes in 2008, as compared to voters which had voted in NPP MPs in 2004? If voters

are making vote choices based on who they think is likely to win the election, it seems

unlikely that voters under NDC MPs would incorrectly predict the future 2008 Presidential

winner as compared to voters under NPP MPs. That voters benefit from the development

works completed by their NPP DCE in 2004, particularly in the context of areas that vote

NDC, is a more plausible explanation

Turning to the 2012 elections, after the unexpected death of President Atta Mills in

July 2012 barely 4 months prior to the 2012 elections, no Presidential candidate was up for

re-election. Though it was widely expected that the unpopular Atta Mills’ NDC govern-

ment was going to be voted out of power, the transfer of Presidential authority to the Vice

Presient, John Mahama, perhaps re-energized the NDC campaign and Mahama narrowly

beat Akuffo-Addo (NPP) in the 2012 Presidential elections. As you recall from the 2008

analysis presented in Table 4, constituencies which had Unfriendly Pairs (NDC MP + NPP


DCE) were correlated with decreased NDC votes and increased NPP votes in the subsequent

election as compared to Friendly Pairs (NPP MP + NPP DCE). Now, in 2012 (Table 6), con-

stituencies with Unfriendly Pairs in the prior term (NPP MP + NDC DCE) are correlated

with increased NDC votes and decreased NPP votes in the 2012 elections. With the death of

the former President, and in the context of an, up until then, unpopular NDC government,

it would have been difficult for voters to assume the NDC would again win the Presidency

and that they should thus vote-in a NDC MP. What better explains the correlation of a 1.9%

(Pres.) and 7.3% (Parl.) increase in NDC votes in areas with Unfriendly Pairs (NPP MPs

+ NDC DCE) is that voters now had NDC local politician engaging in development works

in their area for the first time since the Rawlings NDC government stepped down in 2000.

Theoretically, all-NDC Friendly Pairs in 2008 should have led to greater depreciations in

NPP votes because no NPP politician was operating within the constituency. This is why I

argue that the development competition that occurs between Unfriendly Pairs actually gen-

erates more vote turnover as compared to the comparatively calm and complacent nature of

the relationship within Friendly MP-DCE Pairs.

Finally, a brief consideration of the significant control variables in the model shows that

level of competition consistently effected vote changes. As the vote difference between the

first and second candidates increased (i.e. decreased competitiveness) by 10%, NDC Par-

liamentary votes decreased by 1.78% in 2000, NDC Presidential and Parliamentary votes

decreased in 2004, 2008 NDC Presidential (-1.39%) and Parliament (-3.98%) and NPP Parlia-

ment (-1.79%) all decreased and, finally, 2012 NDC Presidential (-0.92%) and Parliamentary

(-3.38%) and NPP Parliamentary (-2.06%) also all decreased.

Across elections, then, NDC votes consistently increased in more competitive environ-

ments. In 2008 and 2012, NPP Parliamentarian votes also increased in more competitive

constituencies, though the effect remained less than that of NDC Parliamentarians. This

effect is interesting, but it is likely partially caused by a depreciation of votes for the overall

NDC and NPP Parliamentarians in party strongholds.


Other variables significant across elections include the percentage of Muslims in the 2004

elections23, the percentage of agricultural households in 2008 and 201224, and the creation

of new districts in 201225.


Though transitions to democratic regimes in the post-Cold War era were initially very

promising, the persistence of the global democratic fervor has faltered. Similarly, imple-

mentation of local government reforms in newly-democratized states were encouraging. But

inefficient decentralization systems in which locally-elected politicians’ independence and

authority was hindered as a result of the severe under-funding of local governments by cen-

tral state coffers stifled the extent to which democratic progress could actually be made.

The argument made in this paper, that the hybrid system of local government in Ghana

with co-existing appointed and elected officials increases political competition at the local

level, shows how an uncharacteristic institutional framework for democratic progress actually

stimulates democratic progress.

23Islam was also a major predictor of votes in 2004. A 10% increase in the rate of Muslim residentsis associated with increased NDC Presidential votes (+1.58%, Model 14) and NDC Parliamentary votes(+1.86%, Model 16) and decreased NPP Presidential votes and Parliamentary votes by -1.31% and -1.32%,respectively (Models 18 & 20).

24First, as the percentage of agric. households increased by 10% in 2004, there was a correspondingnegative correlation with NDC Presidential votes (-0.91% in Model 14) and a positive correlation withNPP Presidential votes (+0.70% in Model 18). Secondly, in 2008 a 10% increase in the percentage ofagric. households in a constituency is negatively correlated with NDC Parliamentary votes, and positivelycorrelated with NPP Presidential votes, though this effect was most substantial in the NDC Parliamentaryraces (-1.87%, Model 24).

25Though constituencies which had voted NPP MPs in office in 2008 increased their NDC Presidentialand Parliamentary votes in 2012, NDC DCEs were apparently less effective within the 2008 newly-createddistricts, as NPP Presidential (+1.2%, Model 38) and Parliamentary (+2.6%, Model 40) votes increased inthe 2012 elections as compared to the 2008 races.


Source: Crawford 2009, 61.

Figure 2: District Types (1996-2012)

Year Metropolitan Municipal District N

1996 3 4 103 110

2000 3 4 103 110

2004 3 4 131 138

2008 6 39 125 170

2012 6 49 161 216


Figure 3: Constituencies Under Analysis


Constituencies3rd Party/Independent

Members of Parliament (#)N

1996 200 constituencies 5 195

2000 200 constituencies 5 195

2004 230 constituencies 10 220

2008 230 constituencies 8 221*

2012 275 constituencies 7 267*

*Note: The 2008 Parliamentary Elections were postponed in Akwatia constituency andis thus an additional constituency missing from the analysis.


Figure 4: Number of Political Party Strongholds (Over 65% of the vote)

1996 2000 2004 2008 2012

Pres. Parl. Pres. Parl. Pres. Parl. Pres. Parl. Pres. Parl.

NDC 76 55 41 22 39 27 36 26 65 30

Volta Region 19 15 19 13 21 14 18 16 22 19

NPP 18 15 40 28 58 39 39 25 43 35

Ashanti Region 16 14 24 22 33 26 29 21 34 29

Total Constit. 200 200 230 229* 275Total Competitive 106 130 149 180 133 164 154 178 167 210% Competitive (53%) (65%) (64.8%) (78.3%) (57.8%) (71.3%) (67.2%) (77.7%) (60.7%) (76.4%)

*Note: 2008 Elections were postponed in the Akwatia constituency and are not included


Table 1: Changes in Party Votes: 2000 - 1996

NDC Pres NDC Parl NPP Pres NPP Parl

Model 1 Model 2 Model 3 Model 4 Model 5 Model 6 Model 7 Model 8

Unfriendly96 −0.040∗∗∗ −0.052∗∗∗ −0.068∗∗∗ −0.087∗∗∗ −0.005 0.030∗∗∗ 0.054∗∗∗ 0.114∗∗∗

(0.007) (0.009) (0.013) (0.017) (0.008) (0.008) (0.015) (0.023)Multiple MPs 0.023∗∗ 0.029∗∗ 0.001 0.003 −0.028∗∗∗ −0.017∗ 0.004 0.006

(0.010) (0.011) (0.021) (0.022) (0.011) (0.009) (0.019) (0.017)District Type −0.001 −0.002 0.007 −0.005 0.012∗∗ −0.004 0.013 −0.007

(0.005) (0.007) (0.011) (0.014) (0.006) (0.006) (0.010) (0.012)parl96winner −0.069∗ −0.426∗∗∗ 0.013 −0.079

(0.041) (0.087) (0.029) (0.077)Volta 0.043 0.056

(0.028) (0.075)Ashanti 0.004 −0.007

(0.009) (0.022)Ling Diversity −0.006 −0.009 0.017∗∗∗ 0.006

(0.005) (0.012) (0.004) (0.013)Agric Rate −0.051∗ −0.008 0.045 0.030

(0.028) (0.063) (0.033) (0.058)Secondary −0.163∗ −0.187 0.198∗∗ 0.481∗∗∗

(0.085) (0.165) (0.078) (0.151)Post Sec −0.037 −0.086 0.054 0.060

(0.114) (0.215) (0.123) (0.273)Muslims 0.040 −0.102 −0.082∗ 0.130

(0.061) (0.122) (0.044) (0.093)No Relig 0.047 −0.123 0.158 0.650

(0.203) (0.600) (0.173) (0.419)Trad −0.071 −0.217 −0.040 0.169

(0.117) (0.213) (0.074) (0.134)other −0.487 −0.319 −1.003 −0.770

(1.361) (1.976) (1.096) (2.491)Akan 0.039 −0.043 −0.029 0.012

(0.027) (0.063) (0.033) (0.049)Ewe 0.103∗∗ 0.055 −0.109∗∗∗ −0.104∗

(0.046) (0.111) (0.032) (0.054)Guan 0.096∗ 0.037 −0.086∗∗ 0.043

(0.052) (0.110) (0.043) (0.137)Gurma −0.032 −0.094 −0.003 −0.025

(0.072) (0.139) (0.042) (0.101)Mole Dagbani −0.027 0.025 −0.022 0.021

(0.048) (0.092) (0.036) (0.076)Grusi 0.084 −0.017 −0.024 0.042

(0.086) (0.102) (0.071) (0.118)Mande 0.294 −0.115 0.438∗ 0.613

(0.354) (0.524) (0.256) (0.706)others −0.379 1.112 −0.546 0.140

(0.652) (1.276) (0.513) (1.541)Non-Ghanaians 0.012 −0.366 0.185 −0.234

(0.455) (1.008) (0.337) (1.313)Constant −0.102∗∗∗ 0.034 −0.076∗∗∗ 0.380∗∗ 0.069∗∗∗ −0.061 0.034∗ −0.252

(0.008) (0.096) (0.015) (0.178) (0.009) (0.088) (0.018) (0.159)

Observations 195 195 195 195 195 195 195 195Adjusted R2 0.106 0.271 0.072 0.175 0.028 0.467 0.036 0.177Residual Std. Error 0.059 0.053 0.108 0.102 0.062 0.046 0.109 0.100(degrees of freedom) (191) (172) (191) (172) (191) (172) (191) (172)

Note: ∗p<0.1; ∗∗p<0.05; ∗∗∗p<0.0134

Table 2: Changes in Party Votes: 2000 Pres. Runoff - 2000 Pres. Election

NDC Pres Runoff NPP Pres Runoff

Model 9 Model 10 Model 11 Model 12

Unfriendly96 0.014∗∗∗ −0.003 0.053∗∗∗ 0.031∗∗∗

(0.004) (0.004) (0.009) (0.010)Multiple MPs 0.010∗ −0.003 −0.002 −0.013

(0.006) (0.005) (0.013) (0.012)District Type −0.006∗ −0.005 −0.006 0.008

(0.004) (0.003) (0.006) (0.006)parl96winner 0.038∗∗∗ −0.071∗

(0.015) (0.041)Volta 0.020

(0.013)Ashanti −0.009

(0.008)Ling Diversity 0.004 −0.016∗∗

(0.003) (0.007)Agric Rate −0.026∗ 0.014

(0.014) (0.027)Secondary −0.044 −0.042

(0.044) (0.078)Post Sec 0.021 −0.019

(0.057) (0.122)Muslims 0.004 0.007

(0.024) (0.062)No Relig −0.067 −0.462∗∗

(0.093) (0.186)Trad 0.109∗∗ 0.195∗

(0.052) (0.103)Other 0.268 2.113

(0.557) (1.417)Akan 0.010 −0.014

(0.014) (0.030)Ewe 0.038∗ −0.104∗∗∗

(0.021) (0.031)Guan −0.005 −0.045

(0.024) (0.051)Gurma −0.005 −0.034

(0.025) (0.072)Mole Dagbani 0.043∗ 0.039

(0.023) (0.058)Grusi −0.029 0.151

(0.026) (0.157)Mande 0.320 −1.038∗∗∗

(0.200) (0.390)Others 0.566 1.243

(0.348) (0.823)Non-Ghanaians −0.341 −0.476

(0.272) (0.570)Constant −0.023∗∗∗ −0.030 0.073∗∗∗ 0.188∗∗

(0.005) (0.037) (0.008) (0.073)

Observations 195 195 195 195Adjusted R2 0.050 0.565 0.077 0.549Residual Std. Error 0.034 0.023 0.082 0.057(degrees of freedom) (191) (172) (191) (172)

Note: ∗p<0.1; ∗∗p<0.05; ∗∗∗p<0.0135

Table 3: Changes in Party Votes: 2004 - 2000 (reg. election)

NDC Pres NDC Parl NPP Pres NPP Parl

Model 13 Model 14 Model 15 Model 16 Model 17 Model 18 Model 19 Model 20

Unfriendly00 −0.021∗∗ −0.037∗∗∗ 0.0001 −0.021 0.069∗∗∗ 0.057∗∗∗ 0.099∗∗∗ 0.079∗∗∗

(0.009) (0.009) (0.015) (0.018) (0.009) (0.009) (0.013) (0.015)Multiple MPs 0.039∗∗∗ 0.004 0.053∗∗∗ 0.021 −0.028∗∗∗ 0.006 −0.017 0.015

(0.009) (0.011) (0.015) (0.018) (0.009) (0.011) (0.014) (0.014)District Type 0.023∗∗∗ −0.002 0.030∗∗∗ −0.014 −0.019∗∗∗ 0.004 −0.024∗∗∗ 0.006

(0.008) (0.008) (0.011) (0.014) (0.006) (0.007) (0.009) (0.010)New AA 2004 0.004 0.004 −0.013 −0.019

(0.010) (0.018) (0.009) (0.015)parl00winner −0.098∗∗∗ −0.273∗∗∗ 0.012 −0.027

(0.035) (0.078) (0.036) (0.073)Volta 0.060∗∗∗ 0.054

(0.022) (0.056)Ashanti −0.005 0.021

(0.011) (0.020)Ling Diversity 0.0004 0.013 −0.005 0.006

(0.005) (0.010) (0.006) (0.009)Agric Rate −0.091∗∗∗ −0.035 0.070∗∗ 0.026

(0.032) (0.055) (0.031) (0.035)Secondary 0.078∗ 0.110 −0.101∗∗ −0.114∗

(0.045) (0.094) (0.044) (0.065)Post Sec 0.075 0.346 −0.114 −0.492∗∗∗

(0.195) (0.314) (0.169) (0.182)Muslims 0.158∗∗∗ 0.186∗∗∗ −0.131∗∗∗ −0.132∗

(0.039) (0.055) (0.045) (0.067)No Relig 0.392∗∗ 0.357 −0.540∗∗∗ −0.802∗∗∗

(0.180) (0.373) (0.174) (0.260)Trad −0.089 −0.082 0.237∗∗ 0.204

(0.072) (0.126) (0.098) (0.140)other −1.028 −2.935 −0.653 −3.597∗

(0.971) (2.239) (1.221) (2.037)Akan −0.107∗∗∗ −0.169∗∗∗ 0.094∗∗∗ 0.056

(0.029) (0.042) (0.033) (0.045)Ewe −0.057 −0.088 −0.035 0.008

(0.043) (0.087) (0.038) (0.063)Guan −0.108∗∗∗ −0.166∗ 0.091∗ 0.097

(0.039) (0.089) (0.047) (0.091)Gurma −0.064 −0.104 −0.006 −0.0001

(0.052) (0.075) (0.069) (0.098)Mole Dagbani 0.045 −0.081 −0.022 −0.050

(0.040) (0.066) (0.049) (0.067)Grusi −0.012 −0.150 −0.072 −0.023

(0.069) (0.131) (0.071) (0.134)Mande 0.715∗∗∗ 0.830∗ −1.088∗∗∗ −1.465∗∗

(0.275) (0.445) (0.322) (0.589)others −1.881∗∗∗ −2.896∗∗ 2.299∗∗∗ 2.211∗

(0.583) (1.159) (0.676) (1.265)Non-Ghanaians 0.129 0.227 −0.458 −1.761∗∗

(0.458) (1.055) (0.585) (0.893)Constant −0.042∗∗∗ 0.116∗∗ −0.077∗∗∗ 0.209∗∗ 0.055∗∗∗ 0.026 0.039∗∗∗ 0.153∗∗

(0.011) (0.046) (0.015) (0.083) (0.009) (0.047) (0.014) (0.063)

Observations 220 220 220 220 220 220 220 220Adjusted R2 0.180 0.538 0.095 0.262 0.319 0.563 0.271 0.377Residual Std. Error 0.064 0.048 0.105 0.095 0.063 0.050 0.092 0.085(degrees of freedom) (216) (196) (216) (196) (216) (196) (216) (196)

Note: ∗p<0.1; ∗∗p<0.05; ∗∗∗p<0.0136

Table 4: Changes in Party Votes: 2008 - 2004

NDC Pres NDC Parl NPP Pres NPP Parl

Model 21 Model 22 Model 23 Model 24 Model 25 Model 26 Model 27 Model 28

Unfriendly04 −0.056∗∗∗ −0.044∗∗∗ −0.051∗∗∗ −0.070∗∗∗ 0.059∗∗∗ 0.037∗∗∗ 0.070∗∗∗ 0.053∗∗∗

(0.007) (0.008) (0.013) (0.015) (0.008) (0.008) (0.013) (0.014)District Type 0.017∗∗∗ 0.010∗∗ 0.023∗∗∗ 0.004 −0.021∗∗∗ −0.014∗∗∗ −0.013∗ −0.027∗∗∗

(0.004) (0.005) (0.008) (0.010) (0.004) (0.005) (0.007) (0.010)New District04 −0.009 −0.006 −0.013 −0.005 0.010 0.009 0.018 0.021

(0.007) (0.007) (0.018) (0.015) (0.008) (0.008) (0.013) (0.015)New AA 2008 0.002 −0.009 0.007 0.003

(0.006) (0.014) (0.007) (0.015)Parl 04 Winner −0.139∗∗∗ −0.398∗∗∗ 0.036 −0.179∗∗

(0.025) (0.061) (0.029) (0.074)Volta −0.023 0.021

(0.024) (0.048)Ashanti 0.038∗∗∗ 0.007

(0.008) (0.023)Ling Diversity −0.011∗∗ −0.025∗∗∗ 0.010∗∗ 0.004

(0.005) (0.008) (0.005) (0.009)Agric Rate −0.059∗∗ −0.187∗∗∗ 0.109∗∗∗ 0.072

(0.023) (0.051) (0.027) (0.048)Secondary −0.150∗∗ −0.181∗ 0.179∗∗∗ 0.265∗∗

(0.062) (0.099) (0.062) (0.125)Post Sec −0.175∗∗ −0.451∗∗∗ 0.312∗∗∗ 0.496∗∗∗

(0.086) (0.171) (0.094) (0.192)Muslims −0.037 −0.092 0.036 0.081

(0.047) (0.080) (0.049) (0.074)No Relig −0.321∗∗∗ 0.047 0.326∗∗ 0.861∗∗∗

(0.122) (0.277) (0.129) (0.287)Trad −0.146∗ −0.332∗∗ 0.170∗ 0.231

(0.083) (0.136) (0.091) (0.146)Other 2.209∗ −1.543 −2.084∗∗ −5.207∗∗∗

(1.194) (1.954) (1.050) (1.949)Akan 0.033∗ −0.011 −0.061∗∗∗ −0.100∗∗

(0.018) (0.038) (0.022) (0.047)Ewe 0.052 0.122∗ −0.020 −0.061

(0.034) (0.074) (0.024) (0.068)Guan −0.005 0.039 −0.029 −0.012

(0.046) (0.068) (0.040) (0.077)Gurma −0.048 −0.080 0.026 −0.068

(0.052) (0.089) (0.055) (0.084)Mole Dagbani −0.041 0.012 0.058 0.011

(0.037) (0.065) (0.041) (0.075)Grusi −0.050 −0.054 0.018 0.011

(0.063) (0.129) (0.061) (0.099)Mande −0.111 0.454 −0.322 0.222

(0.188) (0.317) (0.236) (0.418)Others −0.616 −1.197 1.532∗∗∗ 1.202

(0.507) (0.749) (0.568) (0.936)Non-Ghanaians 0.556 1.161 −0.659 −0.833

(0.430) (0.750) (0.407) (0.748)Constant 0.029∗∗∗ 0.255∗∗∗ 0.017 0.573∗∗∗ −0.026∗∗∗ −0.243∗∗∗ −0.033∗∗ −0.089

(0.007) (0.050) (0.015) (0.107) (0.008) (0.055) (0.015) (0.110)

Observations 221 221 221 221 221 221 221 221Adjusted R2 0.298 0.523 0.084 0.341 0.274 0.603 0.130 0.245Residual Std. Error 0.047 0.039 0.095 0.080 0.054 0.040 0.093 0.086(degrees of freedom) (217) (197) (217) (197) (217) (197) (217) (197)

Note: ∗p<0.1; ∗∗p<0.05; ∗∗∗p<0.0137

Table 5: Changes in Party Votes: 2008 Pres. Runoff - 2008 Pres. Election

NDC Pres NPP Pres

Model 29 Model 30 Model 31 Model 32

Unfriendly04 0.029∗∗∗ 0.017∗∗∗ −0.016∗∗∗ −0.012∗∗

(0.006) (0.006) (0.006) (0.006)District Type −0.001 0.010∗∗∗ −0.003 −0.005∗∗∗

(0.003) (0.003) (0.003) (0.002)New District04 −0.009 −0.003 0.006 0.005

(0.006) (0.005) (0.006) (0.004)New AA 2008 0.0005 0.003

(0.004) (0.003)Parl 04 Winner −0.079∗∗∗ −0.001

(0.019) (0.019)Volta 0.001

(0.014)Ashanti 0.019∗∗∗

(0.004)Ling Diversity −0.004∗ 0.00002

(0.002) (0.001)Agric Rate 0.005 −0.018

(0.015) (0.018)Secondary −0.128∗∗ 0.020

(0.051) (0.049)Post Sec −0.041 −0.052

(0.048) (0.054)Muslims −0.103∗∗∗ 0.052∗∗∗

(0.020) (0.019)No Relig −0.156∗ −0.055

(0.088) (0.064)Trad 0.056 0.043

(0.070) (0.038)Other 0.084 1.164∗∗

(0.844) (0.584)Akan 0.022 0.007

(0.015) (0.015)Ewe 0.001 0.016

(0.021) (0.011)Guan 0.018 −0.020

(0.025) (0.019)Gurma −0.087∗∗ 0.023

(0.040) (0.024)Mole Dagbani 0.040∗ −0.008

(0.022) (0.018)Grusi 0.016 0.006

(0.044) (0.030)Mande −0.054 −0.239∗∗

(0.106) (0.108)Others 0.614∗∗ −0.090

(0.288) (0.310)Non-Ghanaians −0.204 −0.052

(0.234) (0.209)Constant 0.022∗∗∗ 0.139∗∗∗ 0.008 −0.008

(0.007) (0.044) (0.007) (0.039)

Observations 221 221 221 221Adjusted R2 0.096 0.385 0.046 0.089Residual Std. Error 0.043 0.035 0.033 0.032(degrees of freedom) (217) (197) (217) (197)

Note: ∗p<0.1; ∗∗p<0.05; ∗∗∗p<0.0138

Table 6: Changes in Party Votes: 2012 - 2008 (reg. election)

NDC Pres NDC Parl NPP Pres NPP Parl

Model 33 Model 34 Model 35 Model 36 Model 37 Model 38 Model 39 Model 40

Unfriendly08 0.015∗∗ 0.021∗∗∗ 0.063∗∗∗ 0.071∗∗∗ −0.019∗∗∗ −0.020∗∗∗ −0.025∗∗∗ −0.029∗∗

(0.007) (0.008) (0.013) (0.014) (0.007) (0.007) (0.007) (0.012)District Type −0.012∗∗ −0.004 −0.024∗∗∗ 0.003 0.009∗∗ −0.001 0.001 −0.009

(0.005) (0.007) (0.009) (0.015) (0.005) (0.007) (0.005) (0.011)New District08 −0.017∗∗ −0.009 0.003 0.026 0.020∗∗∗ 0.012∗ 0.024∗∗∗ 0.026∗

(0.007) (0.007) (0.014) (0.016) (0.007) (0.007) (0.007) (0.013)New AA 2012 0.003 0.007 −0.002 −0.003

(0.007) (0.012) (0.007) (0.010)parl08winner −0.092∗∗∗ −0.338∗∗∗ 0.031 −0.206∗∗∗

(0.030) (0.067) (0.042) (0.061)Volta 0.041∗ 0.058

(0.021) (0.059)Ashanti −0.015 0.040∗∗

(0.017) (0.019)Ling Diversity −0.001 −0.025∗∗ −0.003 −0.014∗

(0.005) (0.011) (0.004) (0.008)Agric Rate −0.0002 −0.010 −0.034 0.002

(0.024) (0.051) (0.026) (0.044)Cecondary −0.022 0.018 0.009 0.064

(0.067) (0.128) (0.062) (0.106)Post Sec 0.009 −0.068 −0.039 0.198

(0.085) (0.164) (0.092) (0.125)Muslims −0.089∗∗ −0.057 0.078∗ 0.069

(0.035) (0.073) (0.046) (0.076)No Relig 0.083 0.560∗ −0.085 0.157

(0.164) (0.313) (0.167) (0.235)Trad −0.005 −0.019 0.001 0.029

(0.059) (0.123) (0.075) (0.135)other −1.624 −0.412 1.935∗ 3.290

(1.061) (1.979) (1.135) (2.135)Akan 0.016 0.024 −0.006 −0.038

(0.025) (0.048) (0.026) (0.052)Ewe −0.011 0.057 −0.018 −0.045

(0.035) (0.085) (0.026) (0.058)Guan 0.056 0.230∗∗∗ −0.049 0.016

(0.048) (0.078) (0.045) (0.067)Gurma 0.005 0.127 0.005 −0.024

(0.035) (0.090) (0.049) (0.076)Mole Dagbani 0.076∗∗ 0.047 −0.052 −0.031

(0.031) (0.058) (0.036) (0.071)Grusi 0.229∗∗∗ 0.231∗∗ −0.145∗∗ −0.105

(0.049) (0.110) (0.063) (0.094)Mande 0.177 1.036∗∗∗ −0.165 −0.198

(0.229) (0.369) (0.251) (0.478)Others 0.456 −0.460 −0.182 −0.742

(0.568) (0.851) (0.636) (1.151)non-Ghanaians −0.215 0.202 −0.180 1.004

(0.375) (0.968) (0.386) (0.750)Constant 0.053∗∗∗ 0.091∗ 0.035∗∗ 0.149 −0.035∗∗∗ 0.001 −0.009 0.071

(0.007) (0.054) (0.015) (0.113) (0.008) (0.050) (0.008) (0.094)

Observations 267 267 267 267 267 267 267 267Adjusted R2 0.065 0.213 0.088 0.211 0.072 0.123 0.033 0.056Residual Std. Error 0.058 0.053 0.102 0.095 0.057 0.055 0.083 0.082(degrees of freedom) (263) (243) (263) (243) (263) (243) (263) (243)

Note: ∗p<0.1; ∗∗p<0.05; ∗∗∗p<0.0139


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