Consolidating for consolidation: technocrats, party building and democratic consolidation in Ghana

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Edward Brenya
Thomas Brown


In Ghana, political parties have proven to be guardians of its democracy. Unfortunately, they are doing very little toward the permanent institutionalization of democracy as party building is for ‘the next election’. Drawing on a mixed method research design that uses secondary qualitative and quantitative data from archived newspaper and digital news reports, detailed review of political party decisions, events, reports and other relevant textbook and journal articles for analysis, this work investigates the relationship between political party building and democratic consolidation, and how technocrats can be useful in this enterprise. The study finds that political parties in Ghana are engaging technocrats wrongly and their inclusion in party strengthening is mostly thought of during busy electoral seasons. Both the National Democratic Congress and New Patriotic Party which has formed government since the inception of democracy in Ghana in 1992 use their seasoned technocrats only during vote canvassing periods. These technocrats most of time leave the party offices to take up positions in government as reward for helping to get the party elected to office. This leaves the administration of political parties to non-technocrats in election free periods. Owning to evidence that political parties in Ghana always need restructuring after every electoral loss, an argument is made for technocrats to be incorporated into national party structures permanently in order to ensure strengthened party building strategies and the proper contribution of political parties toward democratic consolidation. If political parties are consolidated themselves, they can more meaningfully contribute to democratic consolidation.


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