Multi-party system is gaining firmer roots in Africa – Security consultant

Brigadier General Francis Agyemfra (rtd), a Security Consultant, has said the promotion and consolidation of democratic governance was increasingly being recognized in African countries as the most efficient means of preventing conflict and ensuring stability and development.

Brigadier Gen. Agyemfra (rtd) said this when delivering a paper on the topic: “Multi-Party Democracy, Elections and Stability in Africa” at the Harvard Law School in Cambridge, United State of America.

He said “some countries like Botswana, Mali, Benin, Zambia and Ghana have now establish effective multi-party democracies which have successfully passed the test of holding peaceful, free, fair and credible elections with smooth transfer of power.”

He said the road to democracy and national development has not been without its challenges, adding that the source of instability in some African countries included the manipulation of Constitutions to allow the incumbent leader to benefit from additional terms in power, rigging of internationally accepted electoral procedure and the appropriation of power by a social or ethnic groups.

Brigadier Gen. Agyemfra (rtd) said some Africa political leaders claim to be practicing democracy but rather pay lip service to democratic ideals and hold regular elections to just satisfy donor requirements.

On the role of opposition parties in Africa, he said the opposition continue to display certain tendencies that portray them as “enemies of the state”.

He said they resort to confrontational politics instead of constructively engaging their governments in order to keep them on their toes and bring about healthy inter-party political rivalry.

In the area of funding of political parties, the Security Consultant noted that the issue has been a key factor that has also impacted negatively on the democratization processes in the continent and the high level of corruption in politics.

He said records indicate that a great deal of such corruption was due to the way political parties were funded.

“In some countries political parties are required to operate offices in all the constituencies throughout the country in order to qualify to be registered as political party,” he added.

Brigadier Gen. Agyemfra (rtd), said with this challenge political parties fall on contractors, companies, businessmen and even drug barons for contributions towards the establishment and maintenances of these facilities creating room for corruption.

He said the African continent needed farsighted leadership and a functioning democratic system through which Africans could face squarely the global challenges together.

Source: GNA

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