I am perhaps supposed/expected to write something about Egypt and congratulate its people for toppling their dictator, but I don’t feel this is time for celebrations/congratulations: Seeing the military clearly taking over the power doesn’t please me. I will therefore wait till a new constitution is voted and new legislative and presidential elections are held, and then perhaps I may congratulate the Egyptians for the great courage and determination they have shown.
The recent events in Tunisia and Egypt have shown us that the people’s determination and organisation is key when they want to free themselves. The events have also shown us once again the hypocrisy of the Western democracies. Continue reading →
AL Jazeera and many other TV channels (including the Tunisian ones) announced that Ezzine and his family have left the country. The dictator talked to his people three times in one month and every time he had made new concessions. The Tunisians were wise enough and kept the movement running. Today Ezzine dismissed all his government and then fled the country.
Let’s hope this dearly acquired freedom will not be confiscated by the army, the police or some remnants of Zine El Abidine’s regime (what happened to Abdallah Kallel?)
The situation has calmed down in Algeria and things are going back to normal (read usual). Bouteflika, as always during tough moments when one would expect the president to speak to his people, has kept silent. Some even suggested he was dying (treating a stomach-ache) in a French or Swiss hospital. This was obviously a rumour which disappeared as soon as Bouteflika appeared next to the Canadian foreign affairs minister.
In actual fact, Bouteflika was busy talking on the phone with Zine El Abidine. Tunisia’s also experiencing a social unrest and the situation doesn’t look close to resolution. The two “Pouvoirs” do indeed have a lot in common and could be called good friends.
An old joke in Algeria says that Ezzine was surprised at and even envious of the high scores Chadli Bendjedid got at his presidential “elections” so he asked the Algerian president to help him get similar results in Tunisia. Chadli agreed (I said they were good friends) and sent his first counsellor to Tunis to share his techniques. The Tunisian “elections” took place and guess what? Continue reading →
The 14th ordinary session of the assembly of the African Union which took place between 25/01 and 02/02 in Addis Ababa reminded me of the interesting positions of the Arab states leaders in the African rulers longevity ranking.
We can indeed find three of them in the top 10 with Libyan Muammar Gaddafi (1st), Egyptian Hosni Mubarak and Tunisian Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. And if we consider the Algerian ruling system specificity (same people behind a changeable president) and the Moroccan monarchy (with different kings) we can safely add them to this top 10 list.
These regimes are still in power despite the will and hopes of their populations, and the means they use to stay in charge have little to do with democracy. But for some reason, these rulers always seek legitimacy arguments. I bet it is because they feel for their peoples and want to ease the pain their presence created and nourishes. And by providing such ingredients to the populations, they help them feel better and happily accept to follow these leaders they never chose. Such arguments could even have the surprising effect of turning parts of the populations into genuine supporters of these leaders.
Therefore, I decided to organise a sort of contest of the best legitimacy arguments. I must warn you though, I don’t know much about the internal affairs of most of these states, so it’s not advised to take the results too seriously. Continue reading →