Why Democracies fail and the effect of checked government on presidential powers as granted by the 2010 constitution of Kenya
Waweru, Esther Wairimu
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The three objectives of this study are to question whether democracy is the best form of governance; to show the effects of checked government in a democratic context, on presidential powers and to highlight the consequences of limited presidential powers have on a state. The scope of this project is a proper understanding of checked government in a democratic context, and its effect on presidential powers. A checked government is a constitutional government with limited powers and with checks and balances in place. The project also analyses the 2010 Constitution of Kenya (COK 2010) in regard to the powers that it has delegated to the President and how these powers have been affected by a checked government. For the research methodology, the paper first defines and explains democracy and presidency as separate legal concepts, and then draws the link between them in a presidential democracy. This is followed by an analysis of the various provisions on the presidency and democracy in the Constitution of Kenya 2010. The paper uses politics, management and juridical relations as an overall framework. First, politics influences democracy through manipulation by politicians during elections. Second, management influences the presidency because limited presidential powers affect the management of a state. Finally, juridical analysis explores the role of law through the analysis of the COK 2010 in regard to provisions relating to presidential powers and democracy. The research methodology involved analysis and review of relevant statutes such as the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and secondary sources (books, local and international journals and articles, research papers, newspaper articles and internet sources accessed from relevant internet search engines and Strathmore University Library). The major finding and conclusion drawn in this research project is that, democracy is not the best form of governance. However, democracy has proven to be the best form of governance to date, despite the need for improvement. An ideal system of governance would be a hybrid of democracy and dictatorship. It would allow the president to have greater control over the state. It would also better regulate politicians against negative behavior including: - hate speech; incitement; corruption; misuse of resources; abuse of power, lack of integrity; and self-interest. A hybrid approach will allow citizens to participate in law making and election of leaders as a check and balance mechanism that holds leaders accountable. Additionally, the hybrid approach will empower the president to: ensure effective management of the state; curb corruption; keep politicians in check; and drive the country towards its development goals with the aim of improving the standard of living of the citizens.