Posted by / Wednesday 23 November 2016 / No comments

The problems of political parties in Africa

Definition of Political Parties
A Political Party can be described as a group of people with the same aim and ideology whose main goal is to capture political power so that they can implement the contents of their manifesto. A party could be either classified as an elite party or can also be called a mass party.

It is a foreign concept in Africa
Traditionally, the political system in Africa was based on the chieftaincy institutions. There was nothing like political parties in the organization of governance before the coming of the colonialist. There was nothing like open opposition to the chief or the official existence of an opposition. It is for these reasons that some say party politics is foreign to Africa.

Allows for the perpetuation of a party in power
Another problem of a political party is that it creates the opportunity for a political tradition to stay in power for a very long time. This may result through varies ways. A political may use the parliament to pass a law turning the country into a one party state. However, a party may perform so creditably well that the people might not see the need to change it.

Unnecessary Rivalry
In many countries where the winner of an election is given the mandate to run the affairs of the country without the need to share power, the parties in opposition go to all lengths to effect a change of government so as to take over the reins of government. This jostling for power generates unnecessary rivalry among the competing parties.

Exclusion of some people expertise
The rancor and acrimony that is associated with party politics drives some caliber of people away from contributing their quota to the development of their country. This happens because some otherwise very experienced and qualified people would not find themselves in government or parliament since they are not willing to go through rancor and acrimony associated with party politics.

It divides the nation
Another disadvantage of political parties is that it divides the citizens along party lines. Where the law permits, many parties can coexist in one nation. The law also allows for citizens to belong to any party of their choice. In an election year, active politics tends to sharply divide the people and create feelings of uncertainty.

Breeds corruption
Party politics can breed corruption, nepotism and favouritism. This is so because patronage is rewarded. People fund the party with the expectation that when the party wins an election, they can profit by being rewarded with juicy contracts.

1. a. Define a political party. [2 marks]
    b. Highlight five problems associated with political parties. [10 marks]

2. Highlight six reasons why countries refuse to adopt party politics. [12 marks]

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