Home GENERAL STUDIES BASIC PRICIPLES OF DEMOCRACY

BASIC PRICIPLES OF DEMOCRACY

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Democracy is the system of governance and leadership in which the supreme power belongs to the people
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 29: Bernie Sanders addresses supporters during a rally on the Common February 29, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Chris Christo/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

BASIC PRICIPLES OF DEMOCRACY

DEMOCRACY

Democracy is the system of governance and leadership in which the supreme power belongs to the people.

Abraham Lincoln the former president of the USA defined democracy as the government of the people by the people and for the people.

Of the people means that power belongs to the people,

By the people means that the government derives its power and authority from the people through free and fair election and

For the people means that the govt/representatives should lead for the interests of all people.

TYPES OF DEMOCRACY

There are two main types of democracy;

(i) Direct democracy

(ii) Indirect democracy

I. DIRECT DEMOCRACY

Is a type of democracy whereby people participate directly in making decisions.

– It was firstly practiced in the Greek city states between 5th and 4th centuries BC.

– Direct democracy is suitable for small population.

– Direct democracy is also known as participatory democracy.

II. INDIRECT DEMOCRACY

Is the type of democracy whereby people are represented by the few in making decisions.

Indirect democracy is suitable for big population.
– Indirect democracy is also known as representative democracy.

BASIC PRICIPLES OF DEMOCRACY

1. Citizen participation. It means involvement of citizens in different affairs like voting and contesting in elections.

2. Equality – all people are equal despite their differences in colour, religion, sex, ethnicity etc.

3. Accountability –

4. Transparency

5 Free and fair election

6. Bill of Rights

7. Multipartism

8. The Rule of law

9. Political tolerance

10. Economic freedom – people are free to involve in economic activities of their choices.

11. Accepting the result of elections.

Democracy Is The System Of Governance And Leadership In Which The Supreme Power Belongs To The People

THE IMPLEMENTATION OF DEMOCRACY IN TANZANIA

Tanzania implements principles of democracy in various ways;

1. Presence of political freedom e.g. people are free to vote and contest for various leadership positions as well as to join political parties they wish.

2. Presence of free and fair election e.g. election involve all adult population and are held after every five years.

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3. No discrimination in Tanzania – laws and laws enforcing authorities treat all people equally.

4. Multipartism – to give people more political freedom and widen democracy.

5. Rule of law is followed – all people are equal before the law. No one is above it.

6. There is equality before the law.

7. There are periodic elections and peaceful exchange of government after every five years.

MULTIPARTY DEMOCRACY

1. Multiparty democracy is a political system whereby many political parties operate legally in a country.

2. Political party is a group of people legally organized for the purpose of forming a government.

3. Before independence, Tanganyika and Zanzibar had multiparty democracy.

4. Tanganyika political parties were;

(i) Tanganyika African National Union (TANU)

(ii) African National Union(ANC)

(iii) United Tanganyika Party (UTP)

(iv) All Muslims National Union of Tanganyika (AMNUT)

5. Zanzibar political parties were;

(i) Afro – Shiraz Party (ASP)

(ii) Zanzibar Nationalist Party (ZNP)

(iii) Zanzibar and Pemba People’s Party(ZPPP)

(iv) UMMA

6. In 1965 Tanzania introduced monoparty system in the country.

7. In 1992 July 1st Tanzania reintroduced multipartism.

Now we have about 17 political parties some of which are;

(i) Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) – The ruling party.

(ii) Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA)

(iii) Civic United Front (CUF)

(iv) United Democratic Party (UDP)

(v) National Convention for Construction and Reform (NCCR – Mageuzi)

(vi) Tanzania Labour Party (TLP)

(vii) Democratic Party (DP)

(viii) Jahazi Asilia

(ix) Sauti ya Umma

(x) Tanzania Democratic Alliance (TADEA)

DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS

1. Election is a process of choosing a person by vote especially for political position.

2. What are democratic elections?

Are elections where participants are treated equally, electoral laws are fair to all contestants and there is political tolerance.

INDICATORS OF DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS

The following are the indicators of democratic elections;

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(i) Free and fair election campaigns.

(ii) All political parties should be given equal opportunities.

(iii) Codes of ethics for elections should be followed.

(iv) Frequency of elections (periodic elections) e.g. in Tanzania the general elections are held after five years.

IMPORTANCE OF DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS

(i) Democratic elections help the country to get the acceptable government.

(ii) Elections strengthen democracy in a country.

(iii) Elections ensure accountability of leaders to the people.

(iv) Good leaders are obtained through elections.

(v) They ensure peace in the country.

FREE AND FAIR ELECTION IN TANZANIA

The following are some of indicators of free and fair elections in Tanzania;

(a) Elections are held after five years

(b) Elections involve many political parties (multipartism)

(c) Every citizen has right to involve in elections. Either by voting or contesting in various positions.

(d) Voting is done secretly.

(e) There is political tolerance.

CONDITIONS FOR CANDIDATES

Candidates are citizens who contest a seat.

I. CONDITIONS FOR PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE

S/he must;

(a) Be a citizen of URT by birth.

(b) Have attained the age of 40 years and above.

(c) Be a member of and a candidate nominated by a political party.

(d) Not have been convicted by any court for the offence of evading tax

(e) Be nominated by 200 supporters who are registered members from ten regions two of which must be in Zanzibar.

II. CONDITIONS FOR PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATE

S/he must;

(a) Be a citizen aged 21 years old.

(b) Be able to read and write in Kiswahili and English.

(c) Be a member sponsored by a political party.

(d) Deposit 50,000 Tsh with the National Electoral Commission.

(e) Not have been convicted for the offence of evading tax.

III. CONDITIONS FOR VOTERS

(a) Be a citizen of Tanzania.

(b) Be registered.

(c) Be 18 years old or above.

(d) Be a person of sound mind.

The organ that is responsible for supervising general elections in Tanzania is National Electoral Commission (NEC). It is chaired by its chair person appointed by the president. Currently, its chair person is Mr. Daminian Lubuva.

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The main duties of NEC are to;

(i) Supervise registration of voters

(ii) Supervise general elections

(iii) Demarcate Tanzania into various areas for purpose of parliamentary elections

(iv) To announce the date of election.

(v) To announce presidential results.

THE SPIRIT OF TOLERANCE
Before election

(i) Before election there is voters’ registration.

(ii) Registration is the process of being identified as a voter.

(iii) Permanent Voters Register was introduced in January 2000.

Polling Day

(i) Polling day is the day on which people vote in elections.

(ii) A place where voting takes place is called polling station.

(iii) People vote on ballot paper.

(iv) The room where voting takes place secretly is called voting booth

(v) The box where voters put their votes after voting is called ballot box
Votes Counting

– Votes are counted before the political parties’ agents, neutral members and sometimes before the international observers.

Declaration of Results

(i) All results from the constituency are announced by the area returning officer.

(ii) Results for presidential election are announced by the chairperson of NEC.

BY ELECTION

By election is an election held to fill parliamentary or councilor seat which becomes vacant between general elections.

By electeion is conducted when;

(a) A member of parliament or councillor resigns.

(b) A member of parliament or councillor dies.

(c) Parliament is dissolved.

(d) A member of parliament fails to discharge his/her duties.

(e) When there are irregularities in elections.

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