Sovereignty resides in and flows from the people of a country. They have a collective right to choose their governmental, political and electoral systems as an aspect of self-determination. The authority of government derives from the will of the people in their choice of these systems, and the people have a right to take part in their government – including through genuine elections to determine who is to legitimately occupy governmental offices.
Pat Merloe is a senior associate and the director of electoral programs at the National Democratic Institute, where, since 1993, he has participated in programs in more than 60 countries. He has over 30 years of experience in promoting citizen empowerment, human rights and governmental accountability.