GeneralTop 10 Largest Political Parties in the World

Top 10 Largest Political Parties in the World

Introduction

The modern form of political parties has their origin in the 19th century in Europe and the United States along with the parliamentary and electoral systems, which reflects the evolution of the party system. A political party is an organized group seeking power whether by revolution or democratic elections. Earlier in previous pre revolutionary aristocratic and monarchical regimes, the political processes took place in restricted groups, with opposing factions and parties, centered around certain aristocrats or powerful figures, in previous pre revolutionary aristocratic and monarchical regimes. 

However, the evolution of political parties has reformed the political process and led to the development of the Parliamentary system. The emergence of political parties presents the needs of the public and society as well as respect for the right to vote. The political party popular among people governs them and secures their rights and needs. There are many political parties in the world. Some countries have one ruling political party, some have a multiparty system, and here we have the largest political parties in the world

List of Top 10 Political Parties in the World

Here is the list of the 10 largest political parties in the world;

  • Bharatiya Janata Party
  • Communist Party of China
  • Indian National Congress
  • Democratic Party
  • Republican Party 
  • Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf
  • United Russia
  • Conservative Party
  • Justice and Development Party
  • African National Congress

1. Bharatiya Janata Party

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is a pro-Hindu party in India and the largest political party in the world.  India is one of the most successful democracies in the region. It was established as the political wing of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in 1951, a pro-Hindu group that advocated the Hindu culture and established India as a strong unified state. BJP is popular in northern India and among the high castes. The ruling ideology of the BJP is Hindutva which defines Indian culture as dominated by Hinduism and strictly criticizes the secular practices and policies of the Congress Party ( Indian National Congress). It gained more support among the people of India when it capitalized on the anti-Islamic or anti-Muslim notion. 

Since 2014, the BJP has been the ruling party in India with Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister of the state. Under the Narendra Modi leadership, the BJP promotes Hindutva and economic-related policies. The party claims that Hindutva is a form of cultural nationalism that includes all Indians, regardless of what they believe, and prioritizes Indian culture over Westernization.  BJP aims to remake India as a Hindu nation to eliminate the practice of other religions; thus, in a broad sense, the BJP is a Hindu nationalist party.

2. Communist Party of China

The Communist Party of China (CPC), also known as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was founded in 1921 before the establishment of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). During the Chinese Civil War against Kuomintang, the Chinese Communist Party remained victorious under the leadership of Mao Zedong. Since the establishment of the PRC in 1949, the CCP has remained the sole ruling party of China. It has also sole control over the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The ideology of a party is referred to as socialism with Chinese characteristics. It is the second largest political party in the world containing more than 98 million members following the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of India. 

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Currently, Xi Jinping is the President of the People’s Republic of China and the General Secretary of CCP. Xi has adopted a more assertive foreign policy towards the US and Western powers  while promoting a vision for China’s “rejuvenation.” Further, China has adopted the liberal and open market approach but is still stuck with the one-party political system. The liberal policies and the use of soft power have led China to rise as the second biggest economy in the world. 

3. Indian National Congress

The Indian National Congress or the Congress Party was founded in 1885 as the first modern nationalist party in the subcontinent under the British Empire. The Congress was the principal party in the movement for Indian Independence under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. Alongside BJP, the Congress is the biggest political party in India. Traditionally, the party has endorsed socialist economic policies within a mixed economy. Later, in the 1990s, it adopted market reforms, including deregulation and the privatization of the economy.

Congress has supported secular policies that promote equal rights for all citizens, especially those from lower castes. For most of the Cold War era, the Indian Congress Party promoted a nonalignment foreign policy that required India to maintain diplomatic relations with both communist and Western powers while avoiding official alliances with any of them. 

4. Democratic Party 

Democratic Party is one of the most popular two contemporary political parties in the United States. It is the world’s oldest active party,  founded in 1828. The party aimed to support expansionism, the interests of slave states, expansive presidential power, and agrarianism while opposing the high tariffs and the national banks. At the start of the 20th century, it opposed imperialism and adopted a progressive foreign policy. 

As of the recent electoral process in 2021, there have been 16 Democratic Presidents who have served the interest of the United States in the world. Currently, the Democratic Party is ruling the United States under the leadership of Joe Biden. The main economic and social policies of the party include an increase in the capital gain tax and social security, modernizing public education, investment in infrastructure development, upholding voting rights, migration system reforms, and much more.  

5. Republican Party

The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, tracing its birth to the 1850s. It is the opposition party to the Democratic Party.  When the country was expanding to new territories in the 19th century, the Republicans stood against slavery and supported the complete abolition of slavery. Republicans nominated John C. Frémont in 1856 at their first presidential nominating convention on an initiative that pushed Congress to outlaw slavery in the territories.

Since the recent electoral process in 2021, the United States has been ruled by 19 Republican Presidents. The recent was Donald Trump who served as the President of the United States from 2017 to 2021. Their economic policies include free markets, supply-side economics, and policies of tax -cuts and deregulations. The Republicans adopted a foreign policy against multilateralism, emphasizing unilateralism and the use of force. 

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6. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf 

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is the political party of Pakistan and is popular all over the world. It was founded by Imran, a Pakistani cricketer turned politician in 1996. It is one of the three major political parties of Pakistan and has ruled Pakistan for one time under the leadership of Imran Khan. PTI opted for the open foreign policy approach by having relations with the United States, Russia, and China to serve the national interest of Pakistan. 

Furthermore, PTI has a central wing for women which ensures equal rights for women and promotes policies to protect women in all sectors of society. It also promotes women’s participation in political and national life as well as it has highly recognized the representation of women in all levels of decision-making. PTI is popular among youth and it also has an Insaf Youth Wing which aids bring the attention of the youth to serious political matters. The vision of PTI is to make Pakistan corruption-free, reduce inflation, attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and become a powerful Islamic country to raise the voice for the Muslims of the world at international forums. 

7. United Russia

United Russia is the conservative political party of Russia. It was established in 2001 and is the largest party in the Russian Federation. The mandate of the party is to take measures against Corruption and other types of offenses and expand cooperation with the other European Union nations. The primary principle of the party is to preserve and increase cultural nationalism, and statism. 

The party supports the policy agenda of Putin who served as the party leader. The United Russia party is ideologically diverse. It comprises a right “liberal-conservative wing” and a left, “socially conservative wing”. In cultural and social affairs, the party is closely associated with the Orthodox Church. In 2016, the New York Times reported the support of the Churches to the conservative appeals of the Kremlin. The focus of the party is innovative development, economic growth, advancement of common cultural space, and developing the Russian Federation as a unique civilization. 

8. Conservative Party

The Conservative Party also known as the Conservative and Unionist Party is one of the two major political parties of the United Kingdom (UK). It is the current ruling party and has been the governing party since 2010. The party sits on the center-right or right wing of the political spectrum of the United Kingdom. The ideology of the party is traditionalist conservatives, one-nation conservatives, and Thatcherites. 

The Conservative Party was founded in 1834 and has played a preeminent role in the politics of the British Empire under the leadership of Benjamin Disraeli. The party favors the free market and liberal economic policies including marketization and privatization. 

Also, Read About Political Parties in the UK, from Conservatives to Regional Parties

9. Justice and Development Party

The Justice and Development Party (JDP) or Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (AKP) is a ruling political party of the Republic of Turkey. It is the largest party in the Turkish National Legislature. It was founded in 2001, describing itself as the conservative-democratic party. The government has been governed by the AKP since 2002 under the leadership of Tayyip Erdogan. 

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AKP supports centralized leadership and foreign policy is widely described on the notion of Ottomanism and Pan Islamism. It is advocating the revival of Ottoman culture. It has been criticized for political Islamization. Despite the high ratio of criticism from its people, it remained the most popular political party in Turkey, won the recent elections in 2023, and gained power for another term of five years. 

10. African National Congress

African National Congress (ANC) is a South African political party formed as a liberation movement in opposition to apartheid. It was established in 1912 as the South African Native National Congress to advocate and promote the rights of black South Africans. ANC contains different people with various ideologies including liberals, socialists, and conservatives, but it continues to represent itself as the liberation movement. 

The vision of ANC was non-racialism and opposition to tribalism, chauvinism, and ethnicism. Since 1994, a substantial level of government engagement with the economy has been strongly favored by ANC governments. The 1994 document known as the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) served as both the ANC’s electoral manifesto and the inaugural program of Nelson Mandela’s administration. It featured the first thorough formulation of the ANC’s post-apartheid monetary policy framework. 

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Every state has political parties. Some states are governed by a single political party and some states have a multiparty system. Political parties uphold societal needs, value a democratic framework, and contribute to the well-being of society. Best Diplomats is an international diplomatic organization conducting international conferences worldwide to encourage the youth to take part in activities related to politics and international relations. 

Conclusion 

Political parties are the integral development in the democratic framework of a state.  They serve different policy agendas and ideologies. Political Parties address the challenges faced by society and design their policy agendas according to the needs of the society. They adapt to evolving societal needs and show commitment to the democratic principles of the state. Political parties are the cornerstone of the democratic development of the state. The above-mentioned political parties have different agendas but their goal is the same i.e. to represent their people and fulfill the needs of society. 

FAQs 

What are the two most popular political parties in the world?

The two most popular contemporary political parties in the world are the Democratic Party and the Republican Party of the United States. Both came into being during the 1850s and have served the government of the United States multiple times. Currently, the Democratic Party has more seats in the Senate while The Republicans have secured more seats in the House of Representatives. 

Which Countries have more than one political party in the world?

Many countries have a multi-party system including Germany, France, Turkey, Pakistan, Denmark, Poland, New Zealand, Tunisia, and many more. 

Is there any country that has one political party?

Yes, 9 countries are ruled by one political party including the People’s Republic of China (PRC), North Korea, and Vietnam. 

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