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Should post-conflict states allow revolutionary leaders to stand for election?

Asked by: fsamuel011
  • People who used violence to end an existing government should not stand for election.

    This is a tricky question because I can easily think of many reasons why I should answer this question with a 'Yes'. However, I didn't say yes, I have chosen to say no. The reason I say 'No' is because a revolutionary leader more often than not has used violence to overthrow the government. Now you may argue whether the overthrow of the government was justified or not of course, but it is my opinion that he should not be part of a government after that. He may be part of the armed forces, but not the government. But let us start with an exception immediately. When a government is overthrown, the revolutionary leader is by default the De-Facto leader of the new government until new elections have taken place. And the process of handing over the country back to the people again is typically not something that happens in a period of a few months but could easily be a few years. Once elections have been set a date for he should not be a candidate. If there is a reason, such as we now see in both Thailand and Myanmar (Birma), that the military should be part of the government, just let them be part of it without elections and slowly phase this out in a number of years to come. But now I am moving to a completely different discussion so I will leave it at this. A not so simple 'No'.

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