True Democracy Still Out of Reach for Arab Spring States

(Al-Monitor) Shlomi Eldar - In Egypt, Tunisia, the West Bank and Gaza, democracy begins with democratic elections, but what happened after those elections has no connection whatsoever to the values that stand at the core of democracy: liberty, equality, freedom of expression for the individual and the protection of the rights of minorities. Hamas won by democratic means, yet Mahmoud Abbas kept searching for excuses to allow him and Fatah to stay in power. Hamas responded with a military coup and the violent expulsion of Fatah in Gaza. Seven years have passed, but there are no new elections on the horizon in Gaza. In Ramallah, too, no one dares mention the idea of new elections to Abbas. Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood won Egypt's democratic elections in June 2012. A year later Morsi was deposed and arrested. Tunisia pioneered the Arab Spring, but two leaders of the opposition were assassinated within a single year. Elections in these countries were intended as a democratic tool, but they have turned into a corrupt means intended to maintain the rule of brutal regimes drunk with power. There is an interminable list of leaders and movements who rode the wave of protest that was the Arab Spring to power, only to toss democratic values into the waste bin immediately afterward. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2013-08-01 00:00:00

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