Elections et légitimité

L’Ukraine s’est donc dotée d’un gouvernement légitime. Vraiment ? Viktor Iouchtchenko a été élu avec 52 % des suffrages, contre 44 % pour son adversaire. Les observateurs confirment que les manquements à la législation électorale ont été sans gravité. Pourtant, certaines questions demeurent sans réponse. Le candidat perdant, Viktor Ianoukovitch, conteste les résultats, et l’Ukraine est profondément divisée. Les mineurs de Donetsk prendront-ils l’initiative de la prochaine révolution, en rouge cette fois-ci et non pas en orange comme les partisans de Iouchtchenko à l’issue du premier scrutin, sans aucun doute illégitime ? L’est du pays fera-t-il sécession ?

La légitimité est un élément essentiel, autant que délicat et complexe, de la stabilité politique en démocratie. Le premier mandat de George W. Bush à la présidence des Etats-Unis – obtenu par décision de la Cour suprême de mettre un terme au décompte des voix en Floride, et représentant la volonté d’une minorité des électeurs au niveau national - était–il légitime ? Les présidents de certaines républiques anciennement soviétiques qui contrôlent apparemment 90 % des suffrages sont-ils légitimement élus ? La légitimité des élections prévues en Irak sera-t-elle reconnue, dans le pays et sur la scène internationale ?

Il ne faut surtout pas oublier que des élections – même libres et justes - ne suffisent pas à garantir la légitimité. Les Américains, et d’autres qui ont la chance de vivre dans des démocraties anglo-saxonnes, ont beaucoup de mal à le comprendre. Pour eux, il s’agit simplement de voter et de dépouiller le scrutin selon des règles incontestées. “ Légal ” est pour eux synonyme de “ légitime ”.

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