Democracy in the Arab World?

Democracy in the Arab World?

George Bush hopes that his “new world order” in the wake of the Iraq war will include a measure of democratization in the Persian Gulf states and the larger Arab world. Calls for democratization have also come from people in the two countries most directly affected–Kuwait and Iraq–and in other regional states. The Democratic Forum, a loose formation of Kuwaiti opposition groups, has called on the emir of Kuwait to restore the constitution and reconvene parliament, permit basic freedoms of speech, assembly and association, and extend suffrage to women. The loose alliance of Iraqi opposition groups that (under unacknowledged Syrian auspices) in Beirut earlier this year called for a democratic Iraq, with free elections and a representative assembly. In an almost unprecedented move, forty-five Saudi businessmen and intellectuals published an open letter to King Fahd in April urging him to establish national and municipal consultative councils.

...

Lima