n Journal of Public Administration - Citizen participation and democracy - safeguarding citizen participation through Government of National Unity (GNU) or democracy violated?

Volume 45, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



The concept of citizen participation has come to be loosely associated with democracy through safeguarding the will of the people. While the two concepts share much in common, there has been a trend in Africa, where disputed electoral results are settled through the institution of Government of National Unity [GNUs] formations, mostly popularised by incumbent political leaders who are reluctant to accept electoral defeat. This has led to situations where political opponents are compelled to co-exist in government while at the same time creating apathy and despondency among the electorate who feel short changed by the disregard for their will and the imposition of leaders who should have exited from the leadership positions in government through electoral defeat. Thus, it can be argued that, elections have become a smokescreen used by politicians to cling to power by claiming legitimacy from the electorate.

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