If a person is running as a candidate for an election, they can of course withdraw their candidacy, that is, to decide to no longer stand.

But what about the case where a candidate is removed by some other entity? In particular, someone with power over the election, enough to judge on the validity of all candidates. (I don't mean e.g. a political party pulling back their support for a candidate they put forward.) Can "withdraw" be used there? As in "Candidate X was [forcibly] withdrawn by [that powerful entity]".

Or would another word be more appropriate? "Remove"? "Disqualify"?

And no, I don't expect that to be usually possible in actual elections in democracies; the context would have be one where the constituents are not supreme.

  • In some regimes I suppose a candidate can be 'removed' or even 'terminated' (it does happen), but usually a candidate would be disqualified for infringing some condition of candidacy, and "someone with power over the election" would be more likely to contrive such a breach, than to 'disappear' the candidate. Oct 31, 2021 at 18:57
  • @WeatherVane, ah, no, I don't mean violent "removal" like that, even if that vary likely happens in real life. Just removal from the election this time.
    – ilkkachu
    Oct 31, 2021 at 19:38

1 Answer 1


The one case I could see "withdraw" being an appropriate descriptor for someone other than the candidate would be if a political party removed their endorsement. "The XYZ Party withdrew support for mayoral candidate John Doe after allegations of tax evasion were substantiated with additional bank records." but even there they aren't actually ending the person's candidacy only the party's support.

In most cases I would suspect "disqualify" would be by far the most appropriate word for someone other than the candidate doing this. Particularly if that person is a judge of qualifications in the first place. (I.E. ensuring the person actually lives within the district or has obtained a certain age or whatever other qualifications are in place).

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