Meaning Of Multi-Party System
Multi-party system exists where there are more than two political parties and none having the chance of forming the government. In such situations, government is formed through alliance of political parties. A good example could be found in the first republic in Nigeria when there existed three major political parties and non could form a government at the center without political compromise.
There also existed multi-party system in the second republic because of the existence of five major political parties i.e. NPN, NPP, GNPP, UPN and PRP. Also, in the 4th Republic, there is multi-party system with the existence of thirty political parties with PDP, ANPP, APGA, AD and PRP taking the lead.
Advantages Of Multi-Party System
1. It allows alternative choice for the electorate as there are many political parties fighting for election.
2. There is the existence of opposition Political Party which serves as the watch-dog of the people.
3. It prevents the emergence of despotic rule or dictatorship.
4. It does not lead to a rule of the incompetent and corrupt men since there are other political parties from which the electorate can choose.
Disadvantages Of Multi-Party System
1. There is waste of financial resources because of many political parties to win the election.
2. Government by compromise or alliance leads to political instability as a breakaway of one party leads to break down of the government.
3. The existence of the opposition hinders quick decision. There is much delay in taking decision.
4. National unity is not fostered as many of the political parties have tribal base and help to fan the flame of tribalism. Also the ambition of the opposition to rule may drive it to subversive activities against the government.
5. The best talents are not chosen to serve as public officers since the officers are chosen from members of the political party or parties in power who may come from one section of the country.