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Introduction to the concept of political legitimacy
Some countries in the world have experienced political confrontations where many people have also lost their lives as various political leaders fight for powers. Some leaders are never recognized as the legitimate leaders by their opponents. Many cases of rigged elections in the world followed by bloodshed have been reported from various countries in the world. Coups have been conducted in some countries to oust leaders whom opponents think are not legitimately in power. Cultural and religious believes have also been the source of much political unrest.
If political unrests have to be history then all governments must have political legitimacy and govern in the interest of all stakeholders.
The question of political legitimacy is all about the right to govern and political obligations (Marc and Curtis 10). To Marc political activities include enacting law, defending the citizens and rendering justice.
In most democratic countries political power is attained through elections of leaders by the subjects loyal to the state in question. However (Ronald 23) put it.
“Political power can be obtained through force, threat, manipulation and by the fact that one member of the community considers another wish to be just and fair”.
Some governments have obtained power through super natural forces, armed forces, and even by use of resources which are of great use to their subjects.
Representation of various interest groups and political parties is one of the key factors that dictate how much the government will have countrywide support. “Political participation is shaped by a country’s political culture, or the basic attitudes people have towards each other, the state and authority”. (Hauss 12)
Political legitimacy in Paraguay, Sri Lanka and Iran
According to Infoplease (2) Paraguay is one of the countries which have been lead by dictators. Many political opponents to these leaders have been murdered. Paraguay has also witnessed overthrow of leaders by army leaders after these leaders political legitimacy is no longer there. Patronage and bureaucracy of sixty one years by Colorado Party has lead to protracted recession to Paraguay’s economy. These sixty one years in power by Colorado party had very little political legitimacy.
The case of Sri Ianka political history is not a good one. The minority Tamil feel less represented in the government which is dominated by Sinhalese. This has lead to rebellion against the government and worse of occurrences is when a Prime Minister was assassinated in 1959 and president Premadasa assassinated in 1993.The current president Chandrika Kumaratunga is also facing rebellion. In 1999 she was wounded in a terrorist attack. Tamils have felt sidelined by majority Sinhalese in terms of cultural and religious background. The result has been rebellion by Tamils against the government.
Iran political unrest is caused by Islamic revolution and ideologies. Ayatollah R Khomeini introduction of Islamic traditions was faced by great opposition from reformists who were lobbying for Islamic freedom. The political unrest in Iran has been between political hardliner conservatives and liberalists. The last reelection of current president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was followed by riots and protests with 17 deaths and many arrests being reported.
From the analysis of the following cases it is clear that political legitimacy should be of priority of any government in power. Today’s generation will not tolerate any discrimination or sort of oppression.
When loss of legitimacy becomes critical
Political legitimacy is very critical. When people take their arms to fight against any government then the loss of legitimacy has become critical. Political parties and various interest groups will not tolerate any illegitimate government. When a government is ousted from the power either through public demonstrations or by armed forces then, certainly it has far lost its legitimacy.
The country likely to tolerate challenges to political legitimacy
Paraguay is likely to tolerate most of the challenges questioning its legitimacy. The current president, Fernando Lugo election marked the end of system of patronage and bureaucracy by Colorado party for sixty one years in power. Since it represent a government people of Paraguay have longed to have then it will be welcoming enough to any challenge for better welfare of its subjects.
For Iran case, political temperatures have not cooled down. The political unrest after June 2009 speaks a lot. The same case applies to Sri Lanka where the current president is still facing objection from Tamils.
For any government to succeed the interests of all stakeholders should be considered. Any act by the government which can lead to a group feel discriminated should be avoided under all cost. Political power should be obtained through democratic process. The interests of the minority should not be overlooked any sign of public discontent with any government should be treated with all possible ways to preserve peace.