Founding Elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo: A Highly Fragmented Party System

In this paper we analyse the embryonic party system in the Democratic
Republic of Congo as a result of the legislative and provincial elections.
Although a strong electoral system (with small district magnitudes) was
implemented, the party system fragmentation at national as well as at
provincial level is very high. As illustrated in this paper, strong electoral
systems (small district magnitudes) generate different effects in emerging
democracies from more traditional democracies. The main reason for this
difference is the absence of structured political party organisations. A
democratic system needs some fragmentation to function, but a highly
fragmented system runs the risk of not functioning at all. Thus we plead for
investment in structuring the party system by developing cross-district
party organisations and stimulating collaboration and cooperation between
the numerous existing parties and independent politicians.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections