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Party and Electoral Systems in Nigeria: The Nexus

Aminu Umar, Halimat Kamal Bello,


Nigeria like any other developing nation-state has unique party and electoral systems. This is based largely on her creation by the British colonialists in 1914 coupled with her independence in 1960 and incessant military interjections of her democratic journey. However, by 1999 she once again returned to democracy in her fourth republic which is on till date; the longest in her history. This paper examines the nexus between the polar concepts of party and electoral system in the country. Utilizing a descriptive approach, it established that the two concepts are two side of the same coin that is without party, no development of a viable electoral system. It argues that the various electoral processes instituted in Nigeria’s democratic expedition that has led to some degree of stability of the polity is a function of the failures and successes in the development of its party system; similarly, without an electoral system, party too is a misnomer. Therefore, party system which could be one, two or multi depending on the guiding principle in a given nation-state should be developed in Nigeria beside electoral system in the country along the dictates of the liberal western democracy. The paper recommends that identified gaps in party and electoral process before, during and after elections should be given adequate attention or corrected in building future electoral systems towards the consolidation of democracy. Keywords: Democracy, Electoral System, Party, Election.

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