When elected leaders are surrounded by courtiers urging them to assume dictatorial powers, it is a nightmare for democracy. In a democratic system, power is derived from the constitution. However when those elected by the people indulge in abusing their mandate and want to rule by diktat in utter disregard of constitution, the system loses its power and is bound to crumble. The PPP is a major political party that has always been run by its Central Executive Committee (CEC), a body where members can brainstorm the party decisions. Unfortunately, it has now been reduced to a rubber stamp body comprising political pygmies who lack the courage to express their honest opinions for the fear of losing favour of the leadership. The brutal and crude manner in which Governor's rule has been imposed in Punjab and the arrogant way mandate of the PML-N has been disregarded has eroded the very basis of democratic government in this country.-NASIR K. KHAKAKHEL, Peshawar, via e-mail, March 4.