chapter  8
19 Pages

Comparing ethnic party regulation in East Africa Anika Moroff

When reintroducing multiparty politics in the 1990s, most African countries decided to regulate political parties. Forty out of 46 countries adopted specific party laws or regulated parties in their electoral laws and/or their constitutions.1

A specific feature of such regulation in Africa has been the widespread distrust of ethnic, religious or other identity-based parties. In order to avert the emergence of such particularistic parties, which are feared to foster violent conflict, most countries simply banned them.2 Additionally, numerous countries have regulated the organization and membership structure of parties through spatial distribution requirements in order to promote aggregative parties with nationwide support. Such broad-based national parties are thought to help stabilize a peaceful democracy.3