The electoral process is a total process that includes registration of voters, identifying the political parties to be voted for, voting, counting of votes, and declaration of election results. This process is the foundation of civil societies. A strong civil society is vital and needed to serve as the bedrock of a stable democracy. It represents the reservoir of resources -- political, economic, cultural, and moral -- to complement and, when necessary, to check the power of the state. A dynamic and diverse civil society directly stimulates social and political participation, increasing the involvement and commitment of citizens and promoting an appreciation of the obligations, as well as the rights, of citizenship. By providing many potential avenues for political, economic and social expression, a society with a rich associational life gives people a stronger stake in the social order. This in turn, creates a climate within which mutual respect, tolerance, negotiation, and compromise actually make sense, and flourish.
Nigeria claims to be democratic and seeks to prove that under the banner of representation and multi-party political systems. Elections are used as a means by which representatives and policies are decided. The choice between political parties or individual candidates is made through elections. It should be noted that the public function implies elections. This electoral process is the peaceful transfer of power and legitimate exercise of authority. It demands active, broad-based citizen participation. It is the election that actually determines who shall wield power for a number of years as specified by the constitution. An electoral system may be defined as a process in which the mode of coming to power or the change of government is decided in a particular country at a given time.This paper is going to examine the development of several election laws that has been developed and the progression of the laws.
Elections have become the most acceptable process of changing leadership in any given political system in the present day. The Black’s law dictionary defines election as the process of selecting a person to occupy a position or office, usually a public office.
Another definition is the one which defines election as the act of selecting someone or something; the exercise of deliberate choice.2Election is the cornerstone of democracy and it is essentially a contest for the votes of adult members of the society by aspirants to political office. It is worthy of note however that the concept of elections is quite recent in the history of man as it can be traced to the emergence of democratic government. Professor W. Phillips in his book, power and choice; an introduction to political science said:
"In the long swing of the history , elections with broad mass participation are rather new. Such elections originated with democratic government, which means that they came along at the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth. Today, elections are widespread around the world, even though a number of world’s states are not democracies"
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