Definition of Multi-party and Zero-party System

Definition of Multi-Party and Zero-Party System, features of multi-party and zero-party system, merits/advantages of multi-party system and zero-party system, demerits/disadvantages of multi-party system and zero-party system.

A multi-party system can be defined as a system with more than two political parties contesting for political power in a country. All the parties are duly registered and recognized by law. For example, Nigeria’s second republic (1979-83) had six recognized political parties: NPN, UPN, NPP, GNPP, PRP, and NAP.

In a multi-party system, a coalition government may be formed, if no party had absolute majority seats in the parliamentary elections. However, the coalition government is mostly common with parliamentary democracy. France, Italy, Zambia, Malawi, etc, practice a multi-party system.


1. Existence of many parties: There are
more than two political parties in the system.

2. Legal recognition: All the political parties
are recognized by the law.

3.Choice: Individuals can easily make choIce
of parties and programs.

4.Political education: The scope of political
education is enhanced and widened.

5. Wider representation: People of different interests and opinions are represented in the decision making process.

6. Coalition government: Multi-party system
may give rise to a coalition government.

7. Absence of dictatorship: There is no place
for dictatorship in a multi-party system.

8. Periodic election: Elections are conducted at periodic intervals.

9. Protection of human rights: The rights of
individuals are guaranteed and protected by the government.

10. Respect for rule of law: There is respect for the rule of law by political leaders and citizens making up the system.


1. It is democratic: The electorate is exposed to several choices party, program, candidates, etc, and that is what democracy sets to achieve.

2. Wider political participation and education: The scope of political participation and education is enhanced and widened to the extent that people now play a major role in issues of national importance.

3. Wider representation: Interests of diverse nature-religious, ethnic, different groups, are represented in the decision-making process.

4. Reduces the chances of the emergence of a single-party dictatorship: This is because, in the system, no party is strong enough to suppress the other party.

5. Party organization: Multi-party system encourages better party organization through Competition.

6. Recognition of opposition parties: The other political parties, outside the ruling party, can criticize government policies and actions.

7. Change of government: The provision is made in the constitution for change of government through periodic elections.


1. Coalition government: Multi-party system often leads to the formation of coalition governments in the parliamentary system which is often weak and unstable.

2. Too many political programs: The people could be confused as to which of the parties has the best to offer them.

3. Difficult to hold a particular party responsible: It does not allow the electorate to easily hold a particular party responsible for the success or failure of government policies.

4. Ethnic and sectionally based political parties: In some countries, it produces ethnic and sectionally based political parties that may not be of international interest.

5. It makes the formation of a new government very difficult: This is because new political parties have no comm cause before assuming office.

6. It is a very expensive party-system: This is because of the cost involved in the party organization.

7. Victimization of political opponents: This is a common feature of a multi-party system.

8. Political instability: With too many political parties competing for political power, unhealthy rivalry and political instability may result.


  Zero-party system has to do with standard where political leaders are elected by the people on an individual basis. There is no political party. Candidates are mostly independent and are elected according to their merits.


I. Proper management of time: Time is
properly managed in this type of system.

2. Electoral malpractices: Electoral
malpractices are reduced to the barest minimum under this system.

3. Simple to operate: The conduct of the election
in this system is very simple to operate.

4. Cost: The cost of conducting elections is
reduced compared to other systems e.g.
multi-party systems.

  1. Choice: The electorate will find it easy to declare for candidates of their choice.

6. Decision making: Decision-making is quick and purposeful. 

7. Conservation of resources: Zero-party
prevents waste of resources in the alias of human. materials, money, etc.


1. Irresponsible political leaders: Those elected may not be responsible political leaders.

2. Conduct of election: The conduct of those elections could be poorly organized and confusing.

3. Absence of party manifesto: This system could produce leaders without direction because there may not be a manifesto, which is very important for political parties.

4. Instability: Political instability may result in the system.

5 Citizenship education: There is the possibility of the absence of political and citizenship education for the people.


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