The Role of Multiparty System in Ethiopia

Topics: Elections, Representative democracy, Multi-party system Pages: 7 (2077 words) Published: November 26, 2013

The Role of Multi-party System in Ethiopia

Obsa Matewos
Temesgen Getaneh
Selam Araya


November, 2013
Addis Ababa

Table of Contents


This paper basically attempts to identify and critically examine the role of a multi-party system in Ethiopia. Besides laying emphasis on the role of multi-party system in Ethiopia, it discusses the notion of what a multi-party system is, the distinctiveness it has and outlines the countries in which it is put into effect. Furthermore, this paper compares the multi-party system that exists in Ethiopia with other nations that currently endorse the system and highlights the compounding problems which hamper the consolidation and furtherance of a truly competitive multi-party democracy in Ethiopia. Before delving deeper into the issue at hand, it is only necessary to clarify the accepted definition of political parties in general and multiparty system in specific. This, we shall provide in the later section. This short paper has the following parts. The first part will be an introduction, the second part discusses the meaning and the conception of the multiparty system in the world, the third part attempts to identify and critically examine the role of multiparty system in Ethiopia.1 Finally, in the last part of the paper a conclusion is made.

The Meaning and Conception of Multi-party system
The Meaning of Multi -party system

The meaning of Multi-party is very much related to democracy. Some convincing definitions of Multi-party system are: A multi-party system is a political system where the various ideas and points of views of the society are represented by respective political parties which are equally given chances of fully exercising the opportunity to gain control over government offices and participate in political issues.

A multi-party system is a political system that is inclusive in its participation and contains a leveled playing field to all political parties as well as provides an independent regulatory system that checks the imbalance of power and influence in each of its legitimate political parties. A multi-party system can be defined system of government in which more than two2 political parties truly have chances and capacities to gain real political and government power.

A multi-party system can also be described as a political system where political parties, organized based on their own views, ideas and values, are given the opportunities to be elected by citizens and have the right to participate in government offices representing the different views of the people.

The pertinence of the Multi-party system was expressed by John Stuart Mill as, "A party of order or stability, and a party of progress or reform, are both necessary elements of a healthy state of political life." There are many misconceptions concerning the definitions of multi-party and two- party systems. The prominent one includes mistaking two party system for a multiparty system on the basis of the number of parties involved. Nevertheless, a two-party system is a different government system in which only two political parties have a serious chance of claiming executive power even though there are other existing parties.

History and Conception of Multi -party System

Human beings constitute a major resource of a country. It is also true that human beings naturally differ from one another in their views and outlooks. As long as there are opportunities that can accommodate the different outlooks of human beings for the common good of all, the different outlooks will certainly make a good asset for the social, economic and political transformation of a society. The role multi-party system can play in this regard is quite immense. Actually using various outlooks for...

Bibliography: Mohammed Salih. ed., African Political Parties: Evolution, Institutionalisation and Governance, England:
Pluto Press.
Dr A Kefale, The Role of Independent National Institutions in Multiparty Democracy in Africa: Some Observations, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
Constitution of The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
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