El mito de la democracia caqui

NUEVA YORK – Egipto y Tailandia tienen poco en común, excepto en un aspecto. En los dos países y en momentos diferentes, personas instruidas que se enorgullecen de ser demócratas acabaron aplaudiendo golpes militares contra gobiernos democráticamente elegidos. Durante muchos años habían opuesto resistencia a regímenes militares opresivos, pero en Tailandia en 2006, como en Egipto el mes pasado, se alegraron mucho al ver a sus dirigentes políticos destituidos por la fuerza.

Esa perversidad no carece de motivos. Los dirigentes democráticamente elegidos en los dos países –Thaksin Shinawata en Tailandia y Mohamed Morsi en Egipto– fueron buenos ejemplos de demócratas no liberales: solían considerar su éxito electoral como un mandato para manipular las normas constitucionales y comportarse como autócratas.

No están solos a ese respecto. En realidad, probablemente sean representantes típicos de los dirigentes de países con poca o ninguna historia de gobierno democrático. El Primer Ministro de Turquía, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, está en el mismo bando y, si se hubiera permitido a los dirigentes del Frente Islámico de Salvación (FIF) de Argelia tomar el poder en 1991, después de su temprano éxito en unas elecciones democráticas, habrían sido casi con toda seguridad gobernantes no liberales. (En cambio, fueron aplastados por un golpe militar, antes de que se celebrara una segunda vuelta de las elecciones, lo que desencadenó una brutal guerra civil que duró ocho años y en la que murieron unas 200.000 personas.)

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