Civic Education Paper 2, May/June 2014  
Questions: 1 2 3 4   Main
General Comments

Question 7

Question 7:     (a) Mention five characteristics of democracy.
(b) State five ways by which the practice of democracy can contribute to
      national development.
The question was quite popular. Many candidates answered the question and were able to score good marks. However, a good number of candidates were unable to mention the characteristics of democracy or properly link it to national development. The candidates were expected to provide the following answers to the question:

  •          Respect for the principle of rule of law.
  •          Periodic, regular, free and fair elections.
  •          Constitutional governance.
  •          Effective/popular participation.
  •          Respect for Fundamental Human Rights.
  •          Tolerance of opposition.

(vii)         Independent/impartial judiciary.
                        (viii)        Equal political rights.
                         (ix)         Popular sovereignty/majority rule.
                         (x)          Freedom of association and groups.
                        (xi)          Formation of political parties.
                         (xii)        Separation of powers between the arms and levels of government.
                        (xiii)        Popular consultation.
                        (xiv)        Consensus building.
                         (xv)         Divergent partisan ideology.
                        (xvi)         Transparency and accountability.
                        (xvii)        Informed electorate.
                        (xviii)       Free press (mass media).
                        (xix)         Universal adult suffrage/franchise.
                        (xx)          Representative government.

  • It promotes rule of law and constitutionalism.
  • It engenders peace and security.
  • It facilitates effective participation of citizens in governance.
  • Democracy guarantees periodic elections to ensure smooth transition of

(v)        It entrenches freedom of expression and respect for human rights.
(vi)       It encourages checks and balances resulting from separation of powers which
enhances cooperation, collaboration and partnership in governance.
(vii)      It leads to employment generation.
(viii)     Democracy promotes poverty alleviation.
(ix)       Democracy promotes political stability which enhances national development.
(x)        Democracy promotes transparency and accountability.
(xi)       It ensures equity, justice and fair play.
(xii)      It brings about legitimacy, i.e., legal and constitutional powers conferred on
(xiii)     The people have freedom of choice in the election of those that will represent
them in government.
(xiv)     Democracy encourages loyalty to the State since the people/citizens see
themselves as part of the democratic process.
(xv)      Democracy allows constructive criticism of government policies which checks
abuse of power thereby promoting good governance and national development.
(xvi)      Democracy promotes political culture which makes the people favourably
disposed towards nation building.
(xvii)     Democracy prevents arbitrariness in governance.

(xviii)    It promotes political education and awareness.



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