What are the merits and demerits of a multi party system of government?

A multi party state exists where we have more
than two political parties. Nigeria has always been a
multi-party state apart from the
period .of the Babangida ill-fated and doomed transitional programme that produced a two party state. 


  1. Multi Party System is very
    democratic. This is because, it allows all shades of opinions to
    be represented in the legislature and it also assists in
    accommodating diverging views.
  2. Multi Party System checks against
    the domination of the political scene by only one party. this also assists in reducing despotic
    tendency and, authoritarian approach.
  3.  Multi Party System tend to
    promote competition among the various political groups. There
    is competition in terms of programmes and manifestoes to
    offer to the electorates and also in terms of geographical
    competition for followership and support.
  4. The electorates have the maximum
    freedom to choose between the various competing
    parties. Therefore it can be said that multi-party system
    helps to accommodate different shades of opinions.
  5. Multi Party System also checks
    against dictatorial tendencies of one party state.


  1. It can produce instability: A multi party system is highly prone to instability most especially in a
    parliamentary system, if  there is no party with a clear
    majority to form the government, it can lead to fragile coalition.
  2. There may be weak opposition from
    the opposing parties. The winning party may device manipulative
    tendencies to prevent opposition from other
  3. Multi party system does not promote national unity hence, it polarises the society into different camps. 
  4. It is expensive in term of resources to
    operate multiparty system successfully. 
  5. It
    can also lead to the emergence of tribally based political parties. This was the case in the first and
    second ‘republic in Nigeria when the political parties that
    emerged were all tribally based.

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