African Parliaments: Between Governance and Government by M. A. Mohamed Salih Ph.D. (eds.)

By M. A. Mohamed Salih Ph.D. (eds.)

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The consolidation of democratic rule and the level of economic wealth tend to have a positive influence on the six dimensions of governance quality, while the structural position of countries in the world-system (their reliance on primary exports) tends to have a negative influence. The impact of democratic consolidation appears to be particularly positive in the case of voice, accountability, and regulatory quality, whereas the influence in most other cases is found to be weak to moderately strong.

A. MOHAMED SALIH the separation of power, they were used to bestow legitimacy on an illegitimate and non-competitive political process. In this sense, the government was not accountable to a parliament freely elected by and responsive to the electorate’s preferences and aspirations. 5. Parliaments were the voice of the ruling elite and the oppressive regimes they represented—not the expression of peoples’ sovereignty. The role of parliaments was largely the affirmation and confirmation of the status quo, thus leading to political oppression in the absence of judicial independence.

In authoritarian statecentered governance such as those of the 1970s, parliament as space for people’s participation through their representative legislatures was curtailed and duly made subservient to the whim of an authoritarian state rule by dictats. In the view of the type of “bad governance” that had prevailed in states governed by a single political party, the changing fortunes of the African parliament during the current era of multiparty democracy could not and should not be underestimated.

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