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The death of a leader may have significant impact on the political environment, particularly if the death is sudden and unexpected. Leaders’ lives may be cut short due to political assassination, accident, suicide, or natural causes such as heart attacks or cancer. Regardless of the cause, power must be transferred after the death of a national leader, and this transition may create instability within the political structure of the state. Power transitions at the national level are substantially different in a democracy from power transitions within an authoritarian dictatorship.

In any political system, the death of any national political or societal figure affects citizens and often leads to mass public gatherings, which may turn violent or may remain peaceful. After the death of civil rights leader ...

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