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The Tyrant is the head of State of Ephebe. When a new Tyrant is elected, he must persuade the local population that he is honest, trustworthy and sensible so that they will vote for him. Immediately afterwards everyone realises what a criminal maniac he is and how out of touch with the philosopher in the street so they elect a new Tyrant every five years. The election process involves everyone who is not barred by reason of being a slave, criminal, foreign or female placing black or white balls into urns.