Elections are very common methods of peaceful transfer of power in democracy. Like many other developing countries, Bangladesh also follows a method of peaceful transfer of power by the elections. However, electoral violence in every national and local level election is a serious problem and hindrance to the democratic development in Bangladesh. Thus, this study attempts to explore the nature of electoral violence in national or parliamentary election in Bangladesh on the basis of secondary source of data following a qualitative method. Special attention has been drowned in the democratic regimes, particularly after the reintroduction of parliamentary democracy in Bangladesh from 1991-2018. This study reveals that electoral violence after the every national elections has become as an event in which incumbent leaders and ruling party agents employ or threaten violence against the political opposition or potential voters before, during, or after elections – is common. The findings of the study reveal that different types of violence with different number of death and injury in pre, during and post-election time is a regular phenomenon in Bangladesh.
POLICE AND THE CHALLENGE OF CONDUCTING CREDIBLE ELECTIONS IN NIGERIA: AN EXAMINATION OF THE 2007 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION (Published)
The electoral process remains the most viable method of transfer of power from one regime to another in a democratic dispensation. Like in some other developing countries undergoing democratic experimentation, ensuring credible and transparent elections has been one of the major problems of Nigeria politics. The problem is more pronounced in civilian-to-civilian transitions than in military-to-civilian transition. In such transition, the electoral processes are rendered vulnerable to abuse through manipulation of the entire system. The political parties, especially those in power seek to manipulate institutional agencies to serve partisan interests. In most cases, the outcomes of the elections neither reflect the true choices of the electorates nor are they accepted. Most often than not, the situation raises integrity questions sometimes, attracting international condemnation that always lead to crisis of legitimacy as witnessed in previous elections of 1964, 1983, 2003 and 2007. In the event of lack of electoral integrity, various organs of the state are called upon to maintain law and order that will legitimize the new government. This is particularly so for the police, which is constitutionally charged with this role. However, the extent to which the police have discharged their election duties and what they have done to prevent or perpetrate electoral fraud remains a vital issue to be examined. Against this background, this study discusses the role of the police vis-a-vis the challenge of conducting credible elections in Nigeria. Exploring secondary data, the study examines the role played by the police in the 2007 presidential elections, and make recommendations on how to manage future elections to prevent electoral fraud. After the investigations carried out in this study, the following recommendations are made, massive education and training for the police, improvement in the welfare and promotion of police officers, a reduction in the volume of money and allowances paid to political office holders and creation of two million jobs to dry up the present pool of unemployed youths, among others.
Opposition Parties and Democratization in Nigeria, 2007-2013: A Diagnostic Assessment (Review Completed - Accepted)
Politics is a struggle of contending ideological viewpoints for the allocation and distribution of resources. Political parties are at the center of politics as modern democracy is unthinkable in the absence of viable political parties and the interplay of party politics that characterize the polity. This paper therefore examines the role of opposition political parties in political re-engineering of Nigerian state and the impact of absence of internal democracy on the electoral performance of the opposition parties in Nigeria. An attempt is also made to analyze the recent merger between the opposition political parties. The study adopts qualitative method of data gathering and uses theory of the post-colonial state. Hence, this paper argues that the opposition parties’ inability to offer itself as alternative government in Nigeria today lies in their weak institutionalization and ideology drought, which results in an increasing disconnect between citizens and their elected leaders, and a decline in political activism. It recommends that the formation and merger of future opposition political parties should follow a micro natural evolution and patriotic commitment; and that opposition politics in the context of inter party relations in Nigeria needs a total overhaul through proactive and agenda setting governance policy engagement and commitments.