African Social Science Review


The paper examines political party formation and fragmentation in Ghana. A multi-theory approach was used to explain the political party formation and fragmentations and why Ghana’s party politics in the Fourth Republic is being dominated by the de facto two-party system. The study adopts a content analysis approach and depends mainly on desk reviews of literature. Ghana’s experience shows that the evolution of political parties began with the formation of nationalist movements whose prime objective was to resist specific instances of colonial racism and exploitation. The fragmentation of political parties during the pre-independence era was because the parties held different philosophies and identities, and some of which seemed counterproductive to the prime objective of the nationalist movement. Thus, while some parties expressed sub-national or ethnic and regional identities, others were rooted in religious and supra-national cleavages. However, the fourth republican constitutional entrenchment of a multiparty political system in Ghana has therefore been stifled by the practical institutionalization of two-party system in the country. This may partly result in voter apathy among citizens especially those who are dissatisfied with the NPP and the NDC politics and may abstain from exercising their voting rights.



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