Monday, January 6, 2014

Political inexperience harmed Arab uprisings

Talal Salman (A-Safir)
 "The successive uprisings witnessed by most Arab countries have revealed that the people there had been living “outside of politics.” The people were taken by surprise when the tyrannies collapsed under street pressure before the revolutionaries had a chance to establish a leadership, political parties, organizations and unions, and form a solid “national front” with a solid structure that could assume responsibility for the transitional phase and start rebuilding the state.

The old regimes were spawned by military coups camouflaged by slogans stolen from political organizations with a history of struggle. The old regimes claimed to be revolutionary and exploited the people’s yearning for freedom, progress, and affirmation of national identity.

Sometimes, those regimes formed their own parties from old parties (which were never real parties), as in Egypt under presidents Anwar Sadat or Hosni Mubarak. The regimes attracted some historically prestigious parties that had renounced coups, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, into an ambiguous relationship. That relationship would not be a “partnership” but rather a kind of subordination in return for a cessation of harassment, with a reward of a few parliamentary seats in a parliament that would be either “appointed” or arising from fake elections."

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