Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Egypt's revolution will only be secured by spreading it

The first open election of an Arab president should boost the regional revolt. It needs to reach the Gulf heartlands of autocracy

Seumas Milne, Tuesday 26 June 2012

"Even before the Egyptian army's latest power grab, optimism about the Arab uprisings had reached a low ebb. For many the "Arab spring" has long since turned into an Arab winter, as savage repression and counter-revolution crushed, hijacked or diverted popular pressure for democratic rights and social justice......

In the meantime, the first free election of an Egyptian president is likely to give renewed impetus to protest movements for democratic change across the region. The US is said to be particularly concerned about the autocratic pro-western Jordanian regime. Last week, the opposition-dominated parliament was dissolved in Kuwait; protests and strikes have led to arrests and trials in Oman.

The spread of revolt is essential if real change is to continue in the Arab world. The Saudi and other western-backed Gulf dictatorships have been central to the drive to suppress, derail or poison the uprisings of the past 18 months – the fulcrum of the regional counter-revolution. Only when they reach the heartlands of autocracy will the Arab revolution be secure."

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