ELECTION MANAGEMENT BODIES AND ELECTORAL ADMINISTRATION IN NIGERIA AND GHANA, 2003-2012

ELECTION MANAGEMENT BODIES AND ELECTORAL ADMINISTRATION IN NIGERIA AND GHANA, 2003-2012

ABSTRACT

This study compares the election management bodies and electoral administration in Nigeria and Ghana, between 2003 and 2012. Utilizing the Marxist theory of the state, ex-post-facto research design, unstructured elite interview, qualitative method of data collection and qualitative descriptive analysis, the study investigates the link between the nature of the framework for the conduct of elections and electoral violence; the limited autonomy of election management bodies and organizational lapses in the electoral process; and the election management bodies’ operational political environment and their performance in electoral administration. The study found the nature of the framework for the conduct of elections and the limited autonomy of election management bodies to account for electoral violence and organizational lapses in the electoral process more in Nigeria than Ghana. The study also sees the election management bodies’ operational political environment to undermine their performance in electoral administration more in Nigeria than Ghana. The study argues that the limited autonomy and operational political environment account for ineffectiveness of election management body in electoral administration more in Nigeria than in Ghana. It, therefore, upholds the view that on account of the character of the Nigerian state, the performance of electoral management bodies in electoral administration was less susceptible to political manipulations and interference and, by implication, commanded higher public confidence in Ghana than in Nigeria. Among others, the study recommends that the reports of the previous committees on re-structuring the Independent Electoral Commission should be implemented without further delay so as to structurally and institutionally reposition the Commission to conduct free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria.

Keywords: Election Management Body, Electoral administration, Organizational lapses, Operational Political Environment, Limited autonomy