Fraudulent Elections: A Look at Russia, Iran and Nigeria

Powerful Essays
Despite the governments’ attempts to portray a democratic front, the obvious corruption and fraud involved in the presidential elections over the last few years in Russia, Iran, and Nigeria expose the reality of the situations. In examining the election processes of these three countries, one can clearly see that the electoral body is not independent of the party in power. The poor electoral processes have snowballed into a legitimacy crisis in Nigeria and full-fledged riots in Russia and Iran; though the authorities were able to repress these public demonstrations, the governments’ legitimacy continues to be challenged. The considerable public outcry against the results shows that the elections do not accurately reflect the intentions of the voters, that there was widespread fraud in which the vote counts for the winning candidate were significantly augmented. In addition, the cycle of fraudulent elections in these nations has created a lack of social capital and greatly hindered the pace of democratization within each of the states.

Nigeria has a long history of corruption and violence marring the process of electing the country’s leaders. Assassination, voter intimidation, and ballot tampering have all been common factors of past elections; rather than focusing on the pressing issues facing Nigerians, the elections have been centered on the acquisition of power. The 2007 elections “marked the first time in the…postindependence history of [Nigeria]…that one civilian government would hand over power to another,” and what should have been a milestone for democracy was instead “riddled with corruption and malfeasance.” What could have been a break in the long chain of violence and corruption involved with the election process, c...

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