Legitimidad y elecciones

Finalmente, Ucrania tiene un gobierno legítimo. ¿Lo es? Viktor Yushchenko ha sido elegido con un 52% del voto popular. Su oponente recibió el 44%. Los observadores confirman que las infracciones a las leyes electorales fueron muy poco significativas. Sin embargo, persisten las interrogantes. El candidato derrotado, Viktor Yanukovich, impugna el resultado. El país está profundamente dividido. ¿Comenzarán los mineros de Donetsk la próxima revolución, esta vez de rojo frente al naranja de las protestas iniciadas por los partidarios de Yushchenko contra la elección original y su resultado claramente ilegítimo? ¿Habrá un movimiento de secesión en el este de Ucrania?

La legitimidad es un elemento delicado y, sin embargo, de la mayor importancia para la existencia de sistemas políticos democráticos y estables. También es complicada. ¿Fue George W. Bush el Presidente de los Estados Unidos legítimamente electo en su primer periodo, habiendo asumido el cargo sólo después de que la Corte Suprema de EE.UU. dictaminara el fin del recuento en Florida y obteniendo sólo una minoría de los votos a nivel nacional? ¿Son legítimamente electos los presidentes de algunas ex repúblicas soviéticas que parecen lograr el 90% del voto popular? ¿Serán vistas como legítimas las elecciones programadas en Irak, tanto interna como externamente?

Es vital recordar que las elecciones por si solas no garantizan la legitimidad, incluso si son vistas como libres y justas. A los estadounidenses les cuesta comprender esto, como les ocurre a otros en las afortunadas democracias del mundo anglosajón. Para ellos, la legitimidad simplemente significa que la votación y el recuento de los votos se realicen según reglas indiscutibles. Lo que es legal, piensan, también es legítimo.

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