Elections in Ghana have been fraught with acts of intimidation and violence, thuggery, acrimony and rancor since 1992, leading to the wanton destruction of property and a number of casualties. Ballot boxes have also been snatched and destroyed on election days.
One way to discourage electoral violence has been to encourage political parties to agree on ethical behavior in the form of a Code of Conduct, to guide them and their supporters throughout the electoral process. The first CoC was developed in 2000. Among other things, it enjoined political parties to safeguard the integrity and transparency of the electoral process and to cooperate with electoral officers in the performance of their duties.
Other Codes were developed for the 2004 and 2008 elections, each of which sought to address weaknesses and incorporate lessons learned from the previous versions. The 2012 Political Parties Code of Conduct was introduced to regulate the activities of political parties before, during and after elections, in order to prevent democratic relapse and promote peaceful elections.