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Legitimacy implies some evidence or popularly accepted justification for the exercise of the rule and power. Legitimacy is the acceptance or recognition given to a government in power by the people or the major groups in the society like Trade Unions, professional groups, etc. Legitimacy is determined by reference to the attitudes and customs of a people and is conferred when the people willingly accept the leaders, laws and institutions.

For instance, the civilian government of the Fourth Republic is popularly accepted by the people and that automatically confers legitimacy on the government, its leaders, laws and institutions.