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AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE CHALLENGES OF RUNNING A MULTI PARTY POLITICAL SYSTEM ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF DEMOCRACY IN CAMEROON

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AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE CHALLENGES OF RUNNING A MULTI PARTY POLITICAL SYSTEM ON  THE DEVELOPMENT OF DEMOCRACY IN CAMEROON

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the study

There has been a notable change in the global governance landscape, with a growing preference for multi-party political systems as a means of democratic government. Multi-party systems, distinguished by the existence of several political parties vying for authority and representation, have become a defining feature of contemporary democratic countries. Nevertheless, the difficulties inherent in such institutions have significant consequences for the advancement and continuity of democracy (Fru, 2021)

. The development of multi-party political systems may be traced back to the first attempts at democratic rule, with historical roots found in the ancient Greek city-states and the republican practices of Rome. Nevertheless, it is in the contemporary age that multi-party systems have become prominent as a distinctive characteristic of democratic administration. The emergence of multi-party systems may be ascribed to a multitude of circumstances, including the dissemination of liberal democratic principles, decolonization movements, and the downfall of autocratic governments throughout the 20th century(Anyu, 2020). Theoretical frameworks provide useful insights into the issues that arise from multi-party political systems in the evolution of democracy. Researchers like Arend Lijphart and Giovanni Sartori have conducted comprehensive studies on the intricacies of multi-party systems, emphasising the intricacies of coalition politics, party fragmentation, and the difficulties of government in such situations. These theoretical viewpoints serve as a basis for comprehending the complexities of multi-party systems and their consequences for the establishment of democracy (Fonchingong and Animbom-Zonga, 2018). Multi-party political systems inherently have structural obstacles that might impede the efficient operation of democratic institutions. These difficulties include problems such as political polarisation, legislative deadlock, and the dispersal of political authority. Having numerous parties with various beliefs and objectives typically results in the formation of coalition administrations, which might face challenges in maintaining stability and consistency in policymaking. Political parties play a crucial role in the operation of multi-party systems and have a substantial impact on democratic procedures and results (Fonchingong and Animbom-Zonga, 2018). Political parties function as means of representing, consolidating interests, and rallying voters. Nevertheless, they are confronted with obstacles like as factionalism, internal disagreements, and a preoccupation with immediate electoral advantages, all of which may undermine the overarching objectives of democratic administration.Electoral systems have a significant impact on the functioning of multi-party political systems and have significant consequences for the progress of democracy. Electoral systems differ in their level of proportionality and winner-takes-all dynamics, which impact party competitiveness, representation, and government formation (Akoh, 2017). The selection of an electoral system may have a significant influence on the inclusiveness of political representation and the durability of democratic institutions. The complexities presented by multi-party political systems expand beyond the domain of electoral politics to include wider concerns of governance, political stability, and democratic credibility (Anyu, 2020). Coalition politics, while necessary for accommodating a wide range of interests, may often result in policy concessions and impasses. Furthermore, the division of political authority may undermine systems of responsibility and impede efficient government. Socio-economic variables have a significant role in shaping the operation of multi-party political systems and their influence on democratic growth, alongside political considerations. Political polarisation and erosion of faith in democratic institutions may be exacerbated by inequality, poverty, and socio-economic inequities (Anyu, 2020). Tackling these socio-economic concerns is crucial for promoting inclusive and sustainable democratic government.Ultimately, the difficulties associated with managing a multi-party political system have significant consequences for the advancement of democracy. Comprehending these difficulties, their fundamental origins, and possible remedies is crucial for progressing democratic government in a progressively intricate and varied global environment. Therefore, the researcher sought to investigate the challenges of running a multi party political system on  the development of democracy in Cameroon.

Statement of the problem

Multi-party political systems are becoming more common in democratic administration globally, yet they bring several obstacles that hinder the progress and establishment of democracy. Multi-party systems, despite their potential for representing a variety of viewpoints and promoting political discussions, often encounter obstacles in their structure, institutions, and socio-economic factors that weaken democratic principles and procedures. The intricacy of coalition politics is a significant difficulty in multi-party political systems. In these systems, the establishment and upkeep of coalitions are essential for government, frequently resulting in compromises that may weaken the efficacy of policies and impede rational decision-making (Akoh, 2017). This situation prompts inquiries over the stability and efficacy of governance in settings with several political parties, which might undermine public confidence in democratic institutions. Moreover, the division of political authority among several parties may intensify political polarisation and impede the formation of agreements on crucial policy matters (Fonjong, 2018). Factionalism inside and across political parties may lead to a focus on immediate electoral advantages at the expense of long-term governance goals, resulting in a state of deadlock and inability to make policy decisions (Klomegah, 2019). These constraints weaken the capacity of multi-party systems to tackle urgent socio-economic problems and fulfil the varied requirements of residents.Given the many and varied problems, it is crucial to prioritize the resolution of the intricacies associated with multi-party political systems in order to promote democratic government in Cameroon. Hence, the need to investigate the challenges of running a multi party political system on  the development of democracy in Cameroon.

1.3 Objective of the study

The broad objective of the study is to investigate the challenges of running a multi party political system on  the development of democracy in Cameroon. The specific objectives is as follows

Investigate the evolution of multi-party political systems in Cameroon

Analyze factors that influence the functioning of multi-party political systems in Cameroon.

Evaluate the impact of multi party system on the development of democracy in Cameroon

1.4 Research questions

The following questions have been prepared to further guide the study

What is the evolution of multi-party political systems in Cameroon?

What are the factors that influence the functioning of multi-party political systems in Cameroon?

What is the impact of multi party system on the development of democracy in Cameroon?

1.5 Significance of the study

This research work will be significant in the following ways: 

Firstly, it will help decision making organs, institutions to determine the basis for political party formation in Cameroon in other to achieve National integration and democratic development. Similarly, it will create awareness and inspire a sense of responsibility on members of political party on the role expected of them to achieve good governance and democratic development.

Furthermore, invaluably, it will contribute to academic knowledge as regards to function of political parties to political development. And serve as a guide for future research purposes.

1.6 Scope of the study

The study focuses on  political parties: Contributions  of  party supporters to  the success of party candidate election in Cameroon. Empirically, the study will Investigate the evolution of multi-party political systems in Cameroon, analyze factors that influence the functioning of multi-party political systems in Cameroon and evaluate the impact of multi party system on the development of democracy in Cameroon.

1.7 Research methodology

Research methodology deals with the different ways or methods the researcher applied in order to carry out the research as well as the instrument used for gathering the data. There are several research methodologies appropriate for answering the research questions. The type of research methodology used in this research to gather data and relevant information is the historical research and the study will adopt descriptive method of data collection. This will involve the collection of materials from secondary sources, such as books, journal articles, magazines, internet sources, international and national conference proceedings, published and unpublished articles.

1.8 Definition of terms

Multi-party political system: A political system in which multiple political parties compete for power and representation through elections, with no single party holding a monopoly on governance. In such systems, diverse political ideologies and interests are represented, fostering pluralism and competition within the political arena.

Development of democracy: The process of advancing democratic principles, institutions, and practices within a society. This includes the promotion of political pluralism, free and fair elections, rule of law, protection of human rights, civic participation, and accountable governance. The development of democracy aims to enhance citizen empowerment, ensure government responsiveness, and foster political stability.

Political participation: The engagement of citizens in political activities and decision-making processes within a democratic system. Political participation may take various forms, including voting in elections, joining political parties or interest groups, attending rallies or protests, contacting elected representatives, and contributing to public discourse through media or social networks.

Governance: The exercise of political authority and the management of public affairs by government institutions and officials. Good governance is characterized by transparency, accountability, responsiveness, inclusivity, effectiveness, and the rule of law. It involves the formulation and implementation of policies and regulations that promote the public interest and address societal needs.


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