the ancient times, democracy in the republic form had existed in India.
This is evident from the writings of Rufus and Diodorus Siculus
in their histories of Alexander, that mention a group of Indian people
called the Sabarcae or Sambastai among whom "the form of government
was democratic and not regal." The origins of modern India's
democratic political system lie in the historical processes of
interaction between a stable society and venerable culture and forces of
change created both within India and brought to bear on it from beyond
its borders in the circumstances of British rule.
with a population of over 1 billion,
India is the largest democracy in the world.
Legislative elections were held in India in four phases between
April 20 and May 10, 2004. Over
670 million people were eligible to vote, electing 543 members of the
14th Lok Sabha (the House of the People, the lower house of the Indian
legislature). The Election
Commission of India, an autonomous constitutional body, is responsible
for deciding the dates and conducting elections according to
constitutional provisions. The
Election Commission employed more than a million electronic voting
machines for the 2004 elections.
Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) has come to power at the
Center, under the leadership of Ms. Sonia Gandhi and Dr. Manmohan
Singh. The sitting government of BJP-led National Democratic
Alliance (NDA) (under the leadership of Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Mr.
L K Advani), was defeated in the general elections.
the political and government culture in Pakistan
is a strong product of its past that links to the pre-partition British
Rule. What Pakistan's leaders knew best from this inheritance was
the so-called viceregal system that made little or no provision for
popular awareness or involvement.
system was designed to rule over a subjected population and intended to
keep order and collect taxes. In fact, what the British bequeathed was
often a contradiction between theories of governance and their
practices. Ideals of representative government and equality before the
law were incomplete transformations.
territorial issues and border conflicts with India, the socio-cultural
differences within the country, struggle for a share of power between
the states and the early death of the founder of Pakistan Mohammad Ali
Jinnah are those realities which not only politicized the policy-making
elites and their willingness in introducing the fair democratic
procedures but also encouraged the non-democratic elements including the
army. Consequently, even after half a century the country could not get
cleaned from the feudal, tribal and panchayat systems and sectarian
segregations and the public has been left untutored in the kind of
vigilance usually needed to hold political leaders accountable.
general, opportunities for a fair governance, true democracy and civil
society in Pakistan can only flourish when democratic practices are
allowed to prevail under the supremacy of unchanged constitution. The
repeated dismissal or overthrow of elected regimes, alterations in the
constitutions that suit to existing ruler, leaves no positive memory and
little chance for institutions to adapt and supportive values to root.
deposing Prime Minister Nawaz Sharief, Army Chief General Pervez
Musharraf took over as the Chief Executivein October, 1999.
General Musharraf declared himself the President of Pakistan in June
has a monarchy system of government. Following pro-democracy
demonstrations on 16 April 1990, King Birendra dismissed the government
and proclaimed the abolition of panchayat system of nominated
councils. Under the Constitution of November 9, 1990, Nepal became
a constitutional monarchy based on multi-party democracy. King
Gyanendra (brother of King Birendra), took over when his brother and
most of the royal family was assasinated. As a result of continued
Maoist attacks on Security apparatus, the King dismissed the government
and dissolved the Parliament, in 2004. The Maoists are fighting to
replace the Himalayan country's constitutional monarchy and multi-party
parliament with a one-party communist republic. Added to the
nation's woe is the perceived political ambitions of King Gyanendra and
the incompetence of the mainstream political parties to find solution to
the pressing problems of the people.
January 1975, parliamentary government was replaced by a presidential
form of government. Sheikh Mujib became President, assuming
absolute power. In February, Bangladesh
became a one-party state. After the assassination of Mujib, Gen.
Zia took over power in November 1975. The country's first direct
presidential election in 1975 resulted in victory for Zia.
a series of coups, ending with Gen. Ershad, who was deposed and arrested
after a popular uprising in December 1990, general elections were
conducted in February 1991. Bangladesh National Party won the
elections. In the general elections held in 1996, Awami League
won. As of now there is a multi-party parliamentary system in
Sri Lanka, there are separate
elections for the President and the Parliament. The President is
elected directly, while the government is constituted from the elected
members of Parliament. After the Presidential elections of 2000,
Chandrika Kumaratunga became President. Though the April 2004
general elections resulted in a hung Parliament, the United People's
Freedom Alliance comprising Chandrika's Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP)
and the Janata Vimukti Peramuna emerged as the single largest party and
formed the new government. Ranil Wikremesinghe, the United
National Party leader was replaced by Mahinda Rajapakse of the SLFP as
Prime Minister. Rajapakse was the Leader of the Opposition when
Ranil was in power.
has a Republic form of government. In March 1975, President Nasir
dismissed the Prime Minister, Ahmed Zaki, and abolished the post of
Prime Minister. Maumoon Abdul Gayoom became President in November
1978. Legislative power is held by the unicameral Citizen's