Thursday, February 21, 2013

Royal accountability in Saudi Arabia

From Ahmet in Tunisia:  "Asad, one can sniff a western apologetic of the gulf dictatorships when a so called researcher takes seriously the dog and pony show of tribal majal-Less and sees a democratic element in it that, according to him, "direct petition" of the Saudi king is a democratic practice that possibly dwarfs as an accountability measure what has transpired after Arab uprisings. This doha-based British researcher manages quite well to not pronounce it in his realpolitik lingo but he lets his guard down when commenting on the Kingdom of Horrors and he says that public beheadings,institutionalized misogyny and other iniquities only "leave much to be desired". Enjoy your ally, the Shah and Mubarak once looked as immovable:

"In some ways, the kingdom is far more politically accountable than Arab countries that underwent revolutions in 2011: Traditional governance structures in many parts of the kingdom still prevail, and the role of the provincial governor in attending the daily majlis to address the problems and needs of his constituents is still highly important in maintaining ties between the people and the ruling elite.
It would have been unthinkable, for instance, for a normal citizen to be given the right to petition directly to former President Hosni Mubarak, or even current President Mohamed Morsy -- such is the enforced bureaucratic distance between the citizens and the ruling class in Egypt. Not so in Saudi Arabia, where one can observe tribal elders lambasting rather forlorn-looking princes for not addressing the country's problems.""