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Electoral processes in other parts of the World - History Form 4

Social, Economic and Political Development and Challenges in Africa since Independence

In this topic, we are to discuss the Social, Economic and political development and Challenges in Africa since Independence and also analyse the challenges upto date. In particular we will learn about the Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly known as Zaire.

Map of Central Africa showing DRC

The Electoral Processes and Functions of Government in other parts of the World

In this lesson we shall discuss the electoral process and functions of Government in United States of America and India.

Statue of Liberty

Prior Knowledge

DRC is located in Central Africa and is one of the largest countries in Africa. DRC was colonized by the Belgiuns, though earlier it was the property of King Leopald II of Belgium who later gave it to the Government of Belgium as a colony. She got her independence in 1960.

King Leopold II of Belgium

Objectives

By the end of the lesson, you should be able to:


1. Discuss the socio-political and economic developments in DRC since independence.


2. Analyse the political and economic challenges in DRC since independence.


Democratic Republic of Congo

In this lesson, we shall learn about the social, economic and political developments of Democratic republic of Congo since independence. We shall also analyse the challenges she has faced upto date.


Objectives

By the end of the lesson, you should be able to:


1. Explain the electoral process of USA


2. Discuss the functions of the USA government


United States of America (USA)

The electoral process refers to a series of actions or steps through which people elect their governments. USA became independent in 1776 when 13 British colonies declared themselves independent from Britain. The USA is a federal government comprising a union of 50 states.

States that make USA


Objectives

By the end of the lesson, you should be able to:


1. Explain the electoral process in India


2. Discuss the functions of government in India


Electoral Process in India

In this lesson we shall discuss the electoral process and functions of government in India.

Map of India

Socio - Political Developments and Challenges

Immediately after independence in June 1960, DRC turned chaotic where Patrice Lumumba (Prime Minister) and Joseph Kasavubu (President) differed in ideologies because each one of them was supported by opposing camps of the cold war. This resulted to Lumumba's assassination in December, 1962. This did not stop the anarchy up to 1964 when Joseph Mobutu took over the government.

Mobutu Sese Seko


1. Joseph Mobutu organized a bloodless coup and he declared himself life president, stripped parliament powers and banned all political parties and established authoritarian rule.


2. 1971, Mobutu introduced Africanisation programme, where people were forced to drop European names. DRC was changed to Zaire, Leopaldville (capital) became Kinshasa. He also dropped his name Joseph. Playing of Foreign music was also banned thus promoting Congolese music (Lingala).


3. From 1977, the rebels started fighting the government and in 1997, Laurent Kabila toppled Mobutu's government.


4. However Kabila was also murdered by his guards in 2001 and he was succeded by his son Joseph Kabila.


5. In 2006, the first democratic elections were held in DRC where Joseph Kabila was elected as the president of DRC.

6. Tribalism has continued to be a political challenge for DRC. There are about 150 different tribes.


Electoral Process

Electoral Process

There are three types of elections in the USA. These are;

• Presidential elections held every four years

• Elections for senators held every 6 years and those of members of the House of Representatives held every 2 years

• Elections for state governors and state legislators held every four years.
The elections are conducted at 2 levels:

• The lower

• Central level
At the central level there is the federal election commission whose functions include:

• To assist state and local election officials in the administration of federal elections

• Introducing voting election standards

• Gives voluntary voting guidelines

Electoral Process and Functions of Government in India


Electoral Process and Functions of Government in India

In this lesson we will discuss electoral process and functions in India. India got her independence on 14th August 1947 with Jawaharlal Nehru as the fisrt prime minister. India exercise a democratic system of government.

ELECTORAL PROCESS IN INDIA


• There are three types of elections in India, namely:
o Presidential
o Parliamentary
o Regional governments

• Presidential and parliamentary elections are held after every five years
• There is an independent body that organizes elections called the independent election commission
• Parliament consists of two houses namely the upper house (Rasya Sabha), and the lower house (Lok Sabha)
• The country is divided into 543 parliamentary constituencies

Economic Development and challenges

DRC is pottentially one of the richest countries in Africa with rich minerals deposits, heavy rainfalls, fertile soils and good forests. However DRC remains one of the poorest countries in Africa because those natural resources have never been exploited fully due to mismanagement and corruption. Other reasons that have resulted in under development of DRC include;


1. Agriculture was neglected by the Belgians who concentrated on mining a trend still taking place long after independence.


2. Mobutu's nationalization of private firms scared of international investors and the locals lacked the capacity. High inflation rates caused by escalating oil prices from 1973.


3. Congo's relations with donors is strained due to unserviced heavy foreign debts.


4. The rural areas are improverished because in 1971, Mobutu placed state resources under him. Thus reducing flow of capital to provinces.


5. The country lacks a clear economic policy and adequate finances to exploit her resources.

6. Unemployment is widespread, due to high population and corruption.

7. In the 1990s, trade imbalance between DRC and her partners seriously affected her economy.

8. DRC economy may take more years to recover from plunder it experienced during the colonial rule and Mobutu Sese Seko’s reign.

Federal Government

Independent Electoral Commission

Independent Electoral Commission

This commission organizes and supervises parliamentary and state legislature elections. It performs the following functions:

1 Prepares, maintains and updates the electoral roll which shows who is entitled to vote

2 Registers political parties

3 Supervises the nomination of candidates

4 It facilitates the coverage of the elections process by the media

5 Monitors the election campaign including candidates funding

6 Organize the polling booths where voting takes place

7 Supervises the counting of votes and the declaration of results

Functions of the Legislature

Functions of the Legislature

The Legislature consists of two houses; the senate and the house of representatives. The legislature is also refered to as the Congress.

FUNCTIONS OF Legislature


1. Control of taxation and government spending
2. Checks on the executive arm of the government
3. Makes and amends the laws
4. Controlling government revenue and expenditure
5. In charge of foreign relations eg making treaties
6. Vets appointments of senior civil servants
7. Representing their constituencies / and states

Voter Registration


Voter Registration

In India any citizen aged 18 and above is allowed to vote. An electoral roll with the names of all the registered voters is used during voting. The electoral roll has been computerized.


Nominations


Nominations

The process of nominations in India is carried out in the folowing ways.

1 Any Indian citizen who is registered as a voter and is over 25 years of age can contest for election to the state legislative assemblages

2 The candidates for the Lok Sabha deposit 10,000/= rupees while those for Raja Sabha deposit 5000/= rupees.

3 Nomination must be supported by one registered elector for the constituencies

4 Returning officers are appointed by the election commission to oversee the elections in each constituency


Campaigns

Campaigns

The following methods of campaign are used in India;


1. Use of print media


2. Use of electronic media


3. Public speeches


4. Canvassing


Political Parties

The main political parties in India are:


1. The congress party / India national congress


2. The Bharatiya Janata party


3. The communist party of India

Regional parties eg India Anna DMK, the National conference, the Telegn Desam.

 

Political Parties

The main political parties in India are:

• The congress party / India national congress

• The Bharatiya Janata party

• The communist party of India

Regional parties eg India Anna DMK, the National conference, the Telegn Desam.

Functions of the Executive

Functions of the Executive

The executive consists of the president, the vice president, the cabinet and the civil service
 

FUNCTIONS OF THE PRESIDENT;

1. The president is the head of state
2. The president appoints the cabinet and senior government officials
3. Chairs cabinet meetings
4. Commander in chief of the armed forces
5. Accents to bills before they become law
6. Appoints supreme court judges
7. Can grant clemency to those convicted of breaking federal laws
8. Signs international treaties with other countries

Functions of Government in India

Function of Government in India

1) The government in India is a combination of federal and parliamentary democracy

2) The states have limited powers compared to the federal unions in the USA

3) There are three arms of government in India

• The legislature

• The executive

• The judiciary India has two houses of parliament

• The house of people (Lok Sabha) and the

• The council of state (Raja Sabha).

• The languages used in the house are English and Hindu

The Executive

The Executive

The executive arm of government in India comprises of:

• President

• The prime minister

• Cabinet

• Civil service

The President

The President

The president is elected for a period of five years and can be re-elected for a second term. some of the functions of the President;

• Appoints the prime minister

• Appoints the attorney general

• Appoints ministers on advice of the prime minister

• May proclaim a state of emergency

• May impose direct presidential rule

• May dissolve the Lok Sabha and call for parliamentary elections

• Appoints Governors to head the state

Prime Minister

Prime Minister

The Prime Minister is the executive head of government. some of hisher functions include;

• Advices the president on the appointment to the cabinet

• Chairs cabinet meetings

• He or she is the chief spoke person in the Lok Sabha

• Advices on the appointment of senior officers of government

• With the advice of the president, he or she can dissolve the Lok sabha

The Cabinet

The Cabinet

The Cabinet is the central decision making body of the government. Some of the functions of the cabienet are;

• Collectively formulates policy matters of the government

• Collectively responsible for all decisions of parliament

• Advices the prime minister and the president

• Defends government policies in both houses of parliament

• Generates bills that are passed on either to the state parliament or the house of the people

• Coordinates the activities of various government departments

• Oversees the execution of government policies

Functions of the Civil Service

Functions of the Civil Service

The functions of the civil service are:

1 implements government policies
2 explains and interprets government policies
3 maintains government records
4 helps in the collection of government revenue
5 draws up development plans and government budget

Functions of Parliament in India

Function of Parliament in India

Parliament in India is the most supreme organ of the Government, due to the functions that it undertakes. These include:

• It initiates amendments to the constitution

• It advices, commands and even disciplines stray leaders

• It scrutinizes bills before they become laws

• It approves the national budget

• It debates on national and international matters

• It has powers to impeach the president

• It oversees the administration of the country

• It controls national security and can declare war or make peace with other countries

• It maintains and supervises the judiciary both in the states and in the federal union

• It maintains national highways and water ways after they are identified by the state

Functions of the Judiciary

Functions of the Judiciary

The judiciary is the country’s legal system. The judicial system is divided into two distinct courts:
• state courts
• federal courts
 

FUNCTIONS of the judiciary;

1 interpreting the constitution
2 arbitrating in cases between USA and other foreign states
3 settling disputes between the federal and state governments
4 adjudicating disputes between the president and the congress
5 settling inter state disputes

The Judiciary

The Judiciary

The highest court in India is the supreme court made up of the chief- justice and 17 Judges. Some of the functions of the judiciary include;


1. solving disputes between the union, government and one or more states


2. it interprets the constitution


3. swears in the incoming president and other similar government officials


4. interprets the laws and enforces discipline among the citizens


5. fines offenders raising revenue for the Indian government.

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