Transitional Dilemmas.

Military-bureaucratic authoritarian regimes often seek to legitimate their rule and establish a positive legacy by transferring power to elected civilian authorities. However, they do so only under certain conditions and with specific outcomes in mind. One way to ensure that their post-authoritarian vision is adhered to is to run a military-backed candidate (often a retired military leader) as the “official” candidate while actively working to use their control of the election process to promote divisions and disunity amongst the opposition. The way in which the elections are governed and the process leading up to them are used by the outgoing authoritarians to produce a voting outcome that upholds the status quo under elected civilian guise.

In spite of its dominant position in such “top-down” forms of electoral transition, military-backed candidates and/or parties are confronted with several dilemmas that complicate their ability to ensure their desired post-authoritarian outcome. In this 36th Parallel Assessments brief I point out two of them as well as some other political dynamics at play in such scenarios.

Although the analysis is framed broadly, it may be of particular interest to those interested in the elections scheduled for September in Fiji.

5 thoughts on “Transitional Dilemmas.

  1. is this so intellectual Pablo that you don’t understand what is happening with Russia, answer here

  2. Paul:

    I am not sure what you are on about. Are you referring to Russian involvement in the Fijian transition (or not)? If so, I am all ears.

    Or have you mistakenly placed your comment here but are actually referring to the post about the Ukrainian crisis? If so, please explain.

  3. “Military-bureaucratic authoritarian regimes often seek to legitimate their rule and establish a positive legacy by transferring power to elected civilian authorities”

    Pablo, I just think Russia is a simple military takeover no civilian authorities required. Thats all. I don’t really think the civilians will have power, soon. I think Putin would be a fool, if he did not take East Ukraine as well. The Kiev revolution has no democratic status. Russia has people in Ukraine who want to be Russians. There is no need for any of this democratic nonsense yet

    In Thailand which I do know a little about we wish the Military, could transfer power to a democratic system . But they have done this before and it didn’t work. They have done it for 50 years , and it doesn’t work.
    Thai people are corruptible by nature, and the country is controlled by corruption to such a complete level that it could take decades to better the system. New Zealanders would find it hard to believe that one man Thaksin over there takes about 5 or 10 per cent of all Government spending for his control of bureaucracy and various forces.
    The military there, are apparently in despair
    This is amazing the and the Chief of Military General Prayauh knows that it has always been done before.
    It is amazing to have a country of 70 million people and not one proper man to lead these people on an honest path. It makes me think they have a genetic failure.

    My Wife thanks me every day to be in a country New Zealand she sees as where the law is strong and is not corrupt. this is true. She also sees me as the boss of the household. but that is strange to me, transitional dilemmas Pablo

  4. A genetic predisposition to corruption? What a disgustingly racist idea, Paul.

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