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The Impact of Electoral Malpractice on Democratic Process in Nigeria

Adeoti, Janet Alaki, Dantani Benjamin, Joshua Nwubu A., Bitrus Joseph, Bala Iranyang Shamaki,


By its very nature, electoral malpractice is a subversion of the constitution and the democratic form of government instituted by the Constitution of any given country. Election is one of the most important pillars of democracy. Indeed, it is a necessary condition for democracy because it provides the medium for the expression of the core principles and purposes of democracy such as the sovereignty of the citizens; freedom, choice and accountability of political leaders. In order to serve these purposes of democracy, elections must be free, fair and devoid of manipulation, violence and fraud as well as a guaranteed impartiality of the election management authority with an effective participation by the electorates at all stages of the electoral process. This paper attempts an analysis of the impact of electoral malpractice on the democratic process in Nigeria with specific focus on the 2003, 2007 and the 2011 elections in the country. It adopts a quantitative research method with a questionnaire as the instrument of data collection. The study discovered that the one of the major challenges of the democratic process in the country is electoral malpractice usually committed by politicians in league with party officials, electoral officers and security agencies. It recommends the need to strengthen the internal democracy in political parties and the combat of the syndrome of godfatherism and impunity from incumbent office holders and concludes that a committed implementation of these recommendations will stem the tide of electoral malpractice in the Nigeria’s democratic process. Key Words: Electoral malpractice, Impact, Democratic process, Nigeria.

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