Democracy Deferred: The Effects of Electoral on Nigeria’s Path to Democratic Consolidation

The conduct of free and fair elections provides a yardstick to measure the
quality of democracy in a country. Credible elections are the platform on
which the populace partakes in democracy by electing representatives of their
choice as public office holders. This process enhances the confidence of voters
in democratisation, and rekindles the prospect of consolidating democratic
institutions, particularly in democratising states. The conduct of elections
in Nigeria since 1999 has been inundated with spiralling malpractices
in the electioneering process. The trend has worsened with each round
of elections, as typified by the 1999, 2003 and 2007 polls. During these
three elections, rigging, violence and intimidation flourished. How do such
malpractices affect the quality of Nigeria’s democracy? How do electoral
malpractices affect the outcome of elections in Nigeria? Can democracy be
consolidated in Nigeria in the face of elections that do not reflect the will of
the voters? How can Nigeria chart a credible path towards stabilising the
country’s democracy? This paper presents qualitative data and an analysis
of the above questions. I argue that it is not the regularity of elections that
can strengthen democratic heritage in Nigeria, but how transparent the
country’s electoral process is.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections
journal of african elections vol15 number 2 transparent democratic governance in africa