What is a democracy? #rwanda #RwOT


World over, elections are a constitutional exercise that is generally perceived as a major ingredient in a democratic process.

According to the basic contemporary dictionary, democracy is a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.

Other accounts define democracy as a system of governance in which state power is vested in the people or the general population of a state.

Some scholars say that the 'standard' view of democracy is, "in brief, the theory that democracy is the rule of the people, and that the people have a right to rule".

Although democracy is generally understood to be defined by voting, no consensus exists on a precise definition of democracy. So, what exactly is a democracy?

According to the United Nations, democracy provides an environment that respects human rights and fundamental freedoms. It ensures that the freely expressed will of the people is exercised without any interference.

Equipped with this knowledge, common sense dictates that the moment there appears to be interference (whether external or internal), democracy has already been compromised.

It should be understood therefore, that every independent country should be given the liberty to apply democracy as long as it does not infringe on the rights of its own people.

At the start of this year's edition of the presidential campaigns almost a fortnight ago, President Paul Kagame reasoned that democracy cannot be uniformly applied across the board because different countries have different geographical and geopolitical setups.

'You cannot guarantee that what is good for people in one area is necessarily good for those in another. This is because we have different morals, cultures and backgrounds,' he said.

He pointed out that no one has a right to downplay others or criticize their efforts in a democratic dispensation as long as what is done suits or benefits the people in that particular area.

'Critics of Democracy and leaderships in developing countries should not prevent the countries from following their development paths, because much as critics have their right to talk they are not necessarily right,' he cautioned.

Kagame clarified that peddling of external influence by foreign countries during elections of what they refer to as 3rd world countries, undermines the true sense of democracy.

'While it is their right to criticize, it doesn't necessarily make it right. It can even be absolutely wrong. And Imposing on us what they think is right; that is not democracy,' he said.

Just like in Rwanda where elections are periodically organized to elect leaders, the way of governing depends on the will of the people.

In a layman's understanding, this must be an institution that has been built over a period of time and should include, good governance, freedom of speech and expression plus the right to life and wealth.

And as the old belief suggests, people know their own problems better and can devise means on how best to solve them.
One cannot therefore be more catholic than the Pope himself.

President Kagame enjoyed widespread Support from residents in Nyamagabe District
RPF - Inkotanyi Candidate and incumbent President Paul Kagame interacting with the electorate in Kirehe District
Ecstatic RPF Supporters show support to President Kagame in Nyamirambo in Nyarugenge district
These happy crowds during an election campaign are a true reflection of democracy

By Sam K Nkurunziza

Source : https://en.igihe.com/opinion/article/what-is-a-democracy

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