Internal Party Democracy, Electoral Law and Credibility of Elections in Nigeria
An Assessment of the 2019 General Elections
Keywords:Electoral Law, Political Party, Electoral body
Nigerian electoral system has been grappling with a lot of inadequacies since the country’s independence. These shortcomings have been purportedly attributed to a lot of factors. The major factor is the selfishness of the ruling elites that has left the country’s democratic experiment in a tutelage state. The structure of the Nigerian economy, with the state as the most important source of economic opportunity is also another factor, the legacy of authoritarian rule and basically lack of solid democratic institutions to whole lot of other factors. Based on these insinuations, this paper examines the level of internal democratic principles imbibed by political parties and the strength of electoral legal framework in facilitating credible elections in Nigeria with special attention to the 2019 general elections. The structural functional theory as espoused by Gabriel Almond was adopted as the framework of analysis. The theory emphasizes the functional effectiveness and survival of political institutions or systems. Secondary source of data collection, which involves the use of journals, textbooks, periodicals and other relevant materials, was also used for the study. It was established that the Nigerian electoral system is devoid of credible electoral outcome largely due to weak institutional framework such as internal party democracy and robust electoral law. Nevertheless, a review and restructuring of the entire electoral system to entrench a strong institutional and legal framework was recommended.