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Opposition Parties and the Politics of Opposition in Africa: A Critical Analysis

Authors: Wondwosen Teshome B.


The major aim of this paper is to investigate the opposition politics in Africa. The paper also examines the status and the role, the contributions and the weaknesses of opposition1 political parties in Africa, particularly in transitional democracies that emerged in the 1990s. In Africa, many of the opposition parties appear or become active only during an election, and disappear when the election is over. It is found out that most of the opposition parties in Africa are established around the personalities of individuals, lack internal democracy, suffer from inter-party and intra-party conflicts, have severe shortage of finance, and lack strong base and experience. Their weaknesses also include bad organization and weak connection with the popular constituencies. The paper concludes that most of the weaknesses of the African opposition parties emanate from the incumbents- hostile policies, which are mostly aimed at fragmenting and weakening the opposition groups.

Keywords: Africa, Political Party, Hybrid regime, Incumbent party, Neopatrimonialsim, Opposition party, Pseudo-democracy

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

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