When Democracy Fails Twice: Can Losers Accept the Victors as Legitimate - Peter Anyang' Nyong'o

Plenary Sessions

If we define democracy as a system of government where political parties compete for votes in a free and fair election and the winners form the government, then we must be able to assess the legitimacy of the government so formed on the basis of the following criteria:

1. The extent to which an election is free and fair.
2. The criteria for determining the "freeness and the fairness" of the election.
3. Whether such criteria vary from one context to the other depending on culture, history, level of development or "fragility" of the state.
4. Whether legitimacy can be derived on the performance of government in the post-election period notwithstanding the democratic credentials of an election.