Non Us Legal Systems

African Democratization and Military Coups by Chuka Onwumechili

By Chuka Onwumechili

Onwumechili presents a thrilling point of view on African army coups and reminds us that democracy isn't synonymous exclusively with Western societies. He examines democracies in conventional Africa and exhibits how those socieites basically outlined and constrained the jobs of conventional African armies.From this heritage, Onwumechili makes readers savour that glossy African armies are deviant associations, with out roots in conventional Africa. relatively, he argues, one has to hunt these roots in Africa's contemporary, colonial background. Dr. Onwumechili is going directly to describe the explanations for coups and their strategies. eventually, he examines how army coups might be avoided. whereas prior options have mostly failed, Onwumechili offers convincing recommendations in response to case reports.

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In 1992, Bratton and van de Walle describe this action by writing as follows: "In Africa [too], authoritarian regimes [including the military] are under siege . . During 1990 citizens took to the streets of the capital cities in some fourteen African countries to express discontent with economic hardship and political repression and to demand democratic reform" (p. 27). Western democracy was the democratic reform they sought. After all, it was clearly the prevailing system of government after communism had failed in East Europe.

These were the conditions under which the 12 June 1993 elections were held. Yet, the military canceled election results as they were being announced and Chief Moshood Abiola was on his way to a landslide victory over Alhaji Bashir Tofa. In later interviews, General Babangida was quoted as saying that he had ordered the cancellation of the 1993 Presidential elections because of electoral fraud, but many Nigerians believed that the elections had been annulled because Chief Abiola was not acceptable to the military leaders.

We will discuss each principle in detail because of the effects of the context we have indicated above. Our discussion of the principles will be supported with the works of Kelso (1978) and Fischer (1996). It is important to reiterate that these principles are interdependent. For instance, the principles of participation and representation are closely related. Nevertheless, we will discuss each of them separately so that each can be clearly understood. Participation is a core democratic principle.

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