The Role of Election In National Development


Democracy gives people the opportunity to choose who they want as their representatives in various government positions.  This process is done in an election. In the real sense, an election is what births democracy. Democracy is government by the people through elected representatives and these representatives are elected through elections. Thus election plays a vital role in keeping democracy alive.

From the understanding of what election means, we will agree that it is actually a tool for national development. The role it plays in a democratic government is to encourage political liberation. Also, elections facilitate accountability. It makes elected officials accountable to the people as they must return to the voters at prescribed intervals to seek their mandate to continue in office. It is also a tool to ensure that whatever the majority of the citizens want, they get. It also serves as the filtering device for rejecting those who do not meet up to the expectations of the popular electorate for any reason. 

Elections are constitutional means of giving legitimacy to the system and are the ultimate guarantor of the continuity of democracy in a country. Countries where elections are not held or conducted irregularly and in the worst case are rigged cannot be called a democracy irrespective of the fact whether the ruling elite professes it to be so. Being a highly competitive process, election forces the candidates and parties to explain to the public their agenda for the betterment of the country.

Politically, it is the greatest tool of people empowerment, confirming the worth and dignity of individual citizens as human beings. The right to vote not only reinforces self-esteem and self-respect, but it also gives people the opportunity to have their say in choosing those who will decide their destiny.

For an election to play the role of national development, it must be free, fair and credible. Fair elections reflect the will of the majority while respecting the rights of the minority. Fair elections cannot be bought. Fair elections do not have anyone’s thumb on the scale.

For elections to become a real asset, a nation needs to implement effective decentralization, including empowering local communities within a rationalized national plan. If this can be done, it will also prevent conflicts and achieve increased national self-confidence and self-empowerment in relation to the global politico-economic and strategic environment.

Airiohuodion E. ThankGod (awakenigeria)

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