In recent years, democratic legitimacy has become a requirement for wielding power in an increasing number of countries. Populations that endured years of dictatorship now demand the right to elect their leaders. In a growing number of cases, however, politicians with authoritarian tendencies have found a way to game the system, extending their rule, seemingly indefinitely, while technically preserving their claim to democratic and constitutional lawfulness.
The most remarkable aspect of this new trend is how well it works, and how much it seems to be spreading.
Politicians in places as different and distant as Venezuela and Russia have successfully implemented the strategy, inspiring others in a number of young democracies. Now there are signs that a version of that practice may soon transform the political system in Turkey.