Procedural democracy is a democracy in which the people or citizens of the state have less influence than in traditional liberal democracies. This type of democracy is characterized by voters choosing to elect representatives in free elections.
Procedural democracy assumes that the electoral process is at the core of the authority placed in elected officials and ensures that all procedures of elections are duly complied with (or at least appear so). It could be described as a republic (i.e., people voting for representatives) wherein only the basic structures and institutions are in place. Commonly, the previously elected representatives use electoral procedures to maintain themselves in power against the common wish of the people (to some varying extent), thus thwarting the establishment of a full-fledged democracy.
Procedural democracy is quite different from substantive democracy, which is manifested by equal participation of all groups in society in the political process.
Certain southern African countries such as Namibia, Angola, and Mozambique, where procedural elections are conducted through international assistance, are possible examples of procedural democracies.