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Conducts of by-elections in recent times have been fraught with a lot of security challenges. This has been as a result of the violence that characterized the conduct of by-elections in recent times in Ghana. Violence during by-elections in Ghana plays a vital role in securing election victories for political parties. In all the by-elections characterized by violence in Ghana, they were won by parties that were accused of inciting the violence. The main tenets of election violence as identified by the paper included, actors, motives, timing, consequences, and patterns. The paper adopted the content analysis method in its investigation of the two violent by-elections in Ghana.
The paper revealed that there was a correlation between violence during by-elections and victories of incumbent parties. This was because, in the two by-elections understudy, those accused of starting the violence and using national security operatives won the elections. The paper also found out that by-election violence impacted negatively on Ghana’s democratic maturity in several ways, such as; low voter turnout, weakening of democratic foundation and breeding an atmosphere of insecurity. Finally, the paper also revealed that political parties especially those in government resort to violence during by-elections in Ghana because they fear losing it will mean the government was underperforming as argued out by Feigert and Norris and also because they want to add to their tally in parliament.
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