Editorial from ROAPE Volume 17 Number 49
Democracy & Development
While there are some more promising signs for the growth of competitive party democracy across the continent as country after country declares its intention of holding multi-party elections, the development prospects continue to cause despair and alarm and can undermine this trend in the longer term. The distortions that can occur to the democratic process under a multi-party electoral system are well known and there is no reason to believe that Africa will be exempt from such distortions. Yet at the same time, the ability of an electorate to rid itself of a ‘bad government’ legitimately - without the need for massive bloodshed through coup d'etat or armed insurrection - will surely mark a step forward in a continent too frequently torn by a civil strife which has rarely resulted in improved living conditions for the people or greater civil liberties.