Le Paradoxe de la démocratie

PARIS – Elections volées en Iran, controversées en Afghanistan et caricaturées au Gabon : les derniers scrutins en date dans ces pays comme dans beaucoup d'autres ne reflètent pas tant l’avancée de la démocratie dans le monde mais plutôt l’absence d’un état de droit.

D’une part, les élections menant à un résultat illibéral, voire au despotisme, ne sont évidemment pas un phénomène nouveau. Après tout, Hitler est arrivé au pouvoir en Allemagne en 1933 après des élections libres, équitables et compétitives. D’autre part, les élections problématiques représentent un défi tout particulier pour l’Occident, qui est à la fois porteur d’un message démocratique universel et victime d’un impérialisme passé qui sape la force et l’utilité de son message.

Ainsi, dans un célèbre essai de 2004, l’auteur d’origine indienne Fareed Zakaria dépeint le danger de ce qu’il appelle « la démocratie illibérale ». Selon lui, les Etats-Unis ont dû soutenir un leader modéré tel que le Général Pervez Musharraf au Pakistan, en dépit du fait qu’il n’avait pas obtenu le pouvoir par les urnes. Il fallait en revanche, d’après lui, s’opposer au président populiste du Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, pourtant élu de manière légitime.

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