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Power vacuum

A power vacuum is an expression for a political situation that can occur when a government has no identifiable central authority.

During or following a civil war there is often a power vacuum of some sort. For example, the war-torn nation of Somalia is currently mired in a power vaccum of sorts, with no central government or president exercising control over the supposed "Republic of Somalia".

A power vacuum can also occur following a constitutional crisis in which large portions of the government resign, creating unclear issues regarding succession to positions of power.