Narrow Incumbent Victories and Post-Election Conflict: Evidence from the Philippines
60 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2020
Date Written: January 29, 2020
Post-election violence is a common form of conflict, but its underlying mechanisms are not well understood. Using data from the 2007 Philippine mayoral elections, this paper provides evidence that post-election violence is particularly intense after narrow victories by incumbents. Using a density test, the study shows that incumbents were substantially more likely to win narrow victories than their challengers, a pattern consistent with electoral manipulation. There is no evidence that the increase in post-election violence is related to the incumbent's political platform or their performance in past elections. These results provide support for the notion that post-election violence is triggered by election fraud or by the failure of democratic ways of removing unpopular incumbents from office.
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