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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Contemporary African political parties: institutionalisation for the sustainability of democracy
Author:Kura, Sulaiman BalarabeISNI
Year:2007
Periodical:Journal of African Elections
Volume:6
Issue:1
Pages:41-90
Language:English
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:political parties
democracy
Abstract:Following the return of democracy to Africa, political parties are undergoing structural changes (from military and one-party authoritarianism to liberal multiparty systems) for the development of sustainable democracy. This paper examines the historical development of political parties and their transformational nature in relation to the development of democracy in Africa. It identifies some critical challenges that are threatening the institutionalization process of the parties. These include party funding and finance, party ideology, the dominant-party syndrome, ineffective civil society opposition and problems of fragile electoral institutions. The paper argues that though these problems are part of the wider sociopolitical and economic dilemmas inherent in Africa, they are more pervasive and have a devastating effect on political parties as instruments of modern representative democracy. The paper thus contends that, given the main concerns and attributes of good governance, it is the only panacea that can wholly address the institutional problems of political parties as well as other structural and institutional obstacles to the development of sustainable democracy in Africa. Good governance is presumed here to be the ideal and pragmatic solution to such institutional obstacles. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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