This is unambiguous good news from a country that just banned Barbie. Do you think for one moment this would be happening without the strong actions the U.S. has taken since 9/11, most specifically right next door in Iraq? Or are the pampered, stuffed, duplicitous satraps who run Saudi Arabia acting out of a sudden epiphany of enlightenment involving the Rights and Dignity of All Men? I’d say it’s a bit more likely regime change in the neighborhood was the WD-40 behind this move:
- Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy, announced Monday it would hold its first elections to vote for municipal councils, seen as the first concrete political reform in the Gulf Arab state.
The announcement by the cabinet followed growing demands by reformists on de facto ruler Crown Prince Abdullah to allow wider political participation, elections and freedom of expression in the conservative Muslim kingdom.
In taking this action, Saudi Arabia has joined a growing trend toward experiments in democracy in other Gulf Arab countries. The decision also coincided with the opening of the first human rights conference in Riyadh.
“The council of ministers decided to widen participation of citizens in running local affairs through elections by activating municipal councils, with half the members of each council being elected,” the state news agency SPA said.
It did not give further details but seemed to imply that other members would be appointed by the government. It said preparations for the polls should not take more than one year.
“Our happiness will be complete when there are 100 percent elections,” said 38-year-old Saudi citizen Sultan Abdul-Aziz. [Reuters]
Exactly, and what the plutocrats don’t understand is that once the process has begun, it won’t stop until the end Mr. Abdul-Aziz is desirous of prevails. There is no doubt that change is happening right now in the region, change we have enabled and must continue to foster.