GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Title of Paper:
The Impact of Arab Spring on The Electoral Process in GCC
Paper Proposal Text :
The Impact of Arab Spring on The Electoral Process in GCC Countries (Abstract), By Abdulnabi Alekry
The Arab Spring which started in Tunisia in Dec.2010,swept the Arab world and reached quickly The GCC countries by Feb.2011 withe various degrees of impact. The common impact was trauma felt by the ruling tradional family rules ,in view of the fall down of their allies in Tunisia and Egypt. The direct reaction of the regimes and their propagandist was that The GCC is exceptional and immune to demise of the ruling regimes, thus countered the Arab Spring with all means trying to salvage their falling allies.
Various means were created to counter the popular winds of change , especially the youth activism, included creating new jobs for unemployed, gratis offers ,and promises of a form of popular participation. In the mean time, it resorted ruthless crackdown on the movement for change, followed by fending the regimes cracks and bolster authoritarian rule.
I will address the parliamentary elections with all its limitations where it exist in Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE and Oman post 2011 episode. would argue that that the contentious strategy of The GCC states still prevail with more regression regarding truly representative elections resulting in Parliaments with meaningful legislative and auditing power, that contribute to constitutional monarchy as aspired by the reformist forces.
Fortunately I was able to monitor elections in Bahrain and Kuwait as part of ANDE team in Kuwait and BTS in Bahrain followed closely elections in UAE and Oman .The quick sequence of Kuwaiti elections and low turnover in Bahraini, UAE and Omani elections are signs of regression in the electoral process .Both UAE and Omani Parliaments have been of limited authority, but ironically both Kuwaiti and Bahraini demise are significant.
The demise of the electoral process is part of wider restriction of political and societal life ,banning licensed opposition societies in Bahrain , restricting defacto political groups in Kuwait and harassing rights activists in UAE and Oman. The quest for radical change including genuine and politicized election can not be quelled and the aspiration for change is still strong