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27th Muharram 1436 | Saturday, Nov 22, 2014
Islamic World

'Arabs groping for new forms of governance'

Saturday, 5 January 2013
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New Delhi, January 05:

Arabs are groping for new models of governance in the wake of uprisings that began in 2010 that led to regime changes in some countries, an international expert has suggested.

They have few models of governance to choose from, and that could be Turkish, Iranian or Iraqi, but they are still grappling to find one, said Iranian-Canadian political scientist Ramin Jahanbegloo at the India International Centre here Friday evening.

The threat of turning the region into further turmoil and chaos stalks the Arabs as they ponder over their uncertainties, said Jahanbegloo at an interactive session. A mass uprising against long-time dictators of the Arab world had forced then Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak to step down and violently ended Muammar Gaddafi's rule in Libya.

The uprising also spread to Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, Algeria, Jordan and Qatar. In Syria, some 65,000 people died as anti-government protests raged in the country to oust the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

"Within each country there are interests groups, like the Islamists and liberals, fighting to gain power over the other. Hence it will not be easy for the Arabs to find an effective model," said Jahanbegloo.

"The mood in the Arab world is changing from euphoria to pessimism, as serious questions begin to emerge regarding the model of governance," he said. "The Arab spring is turning into a long winter and people are in no mood of a revolution," Jahanbegloo said.

In the last election in Egypt, the victory margin was very narrow and that shows the challenges the government of Mohammed Morsi is facing in uniting people cutting across the political spectrum.

"Which is why the current Egyptian government is finding it difficult to enforce itself," Jahanbegloo said. The Islamists had gained a slight edge over the secular groups in the last election.

Only about 43 percent of eligible voters voted as there was a growing disillusionment among the people, he said.

Referring to Iran, another key player vying for power and influence in the region, Jahanbegloo said its economy had decline by 90 percent under the weight of Western sanctions and Arab turmoil.

He said the Iranian model of governance will also find little favour among the Arabs like the Turkish and Iraqi models because of the geopolitical realities and the complex Shia-Sunni dynamics.

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