Election Mandate Protection Fact sheet

What is Democracy?

In the simplest sense, Democracy is a government of the people, by the people and for the people, in a democratic political system; government power is legitimized by the consent of the governed (people). Democracy is thus a political system of governance that, through a number of democratic institutions and procedures, secures its citizens a range of civil and political liberties and regularly allows them to participate and compete in free and fair elections.

What is Mandate protection?

“Election mandate” involves the relationship between the people’s votes and the outcomes of an election; people’s votes and their participation in the electoral process represent their giving consent to the candidates for whom they vote to govern on their behalf. In Nigeria, candidates who win a majority of votes are considered to have won the people’s mandate to govern. The people’s right to choose and reject representatives at the ballot box should be revered, and participating in an election is a fundamental right. However, it is also citizens’ responsibility to engage in the electoral process, to stand up against malpractice, and to ensure that the elections in their country are meaningful.