Authoritarian leaders organize elections to legitimize their governments. There is a debate over whether these types of elections should be boycotted or whether non-participation only strengthens such rulers. An article in Democracy Digest examines this question. Here is an excerpt:
Nicaragua’s opposition National Coalition has announced that it will boycott the November 7 election.
The issue of whether to boycott or participate in authoritarian elections presents democratic actors with a strategic dilemma, but calculations should be driven by circumstances as much as principle, analysts suggest.
Virtually all potential challengers to Nicaraguan president, Daniel Ortega, have disappeared, been detained, or pushed into exile, while the independent media has been silenced and the main opposition party disqualified from running. Yet Ortega continues to keep up the illusion of holding free elections, imitating the tactics of President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela, the Times reports:
Read the full story here.