Democracy and Governance

    • Sada - Analysis

    Egypt's Judges Win Public Support but not Government Concessions

    After a few months of quiet, Egypt's judicial independence movement in recent weeks has surged forward into a major confrontation with the Supreme Judicial Council, which pro-reform judges view as too closely aligned with the executive branch.

    • Sada - Analysis

    Debate on Algeria's Constitutional Reform

    On July 19, 2005, Secretary General Abdelaziz Belkhadem of the National Liberation Front (FLN), Algeria's current parliamentary majority party, announced the creation of a party commission for constitutional reform. Citing the pressing need to “clarify the nature of the regime,” he ignited the latest round of political debate over Algeria's Constitution.

    • Sada - Analysis

    Egyptian Civil Society and the Proposed Constitutional Amendments

    • Bahey Eldin Hassan
    • August 19, 2008

    On December 26, 2006 President Hosni Mubarak formally requested that the People's Assembly amend some 34 articles of the constitution, a move heralded by the government-controlled press as promising "a new era of democracy" and "the rise of the citizenry."

    • Sada - Analysis

    Closing Off Avenues for Dissent in Tunisia

    Unlike Arab countries such as Egypt or Jordan, which opened the political space in 2004-5 only to shut it again in 2006, Tunisia has continued unabated its campaign against avenues for the expression of peaceful dissent including human rights organizations, labor unions, and civil society organizations.

    • Sada - Analysis

    Morocco's Elections Are Over; Let Voter Education Begin

    Morocco’s September 7 legislative elections mark—with their 37 percent participation—the lowest voter turn-out in the nation’s history. In such a situation, one might suppose that Morocco had mounted no significant voter awareness campaign, but this was not the case.

    • Sada - Analysis

    Scenarios for the Lebanese Presidential Election

    The Lebanese parliament is due to elect a new president for a six-year term during the sixty-day period beginning September 25. As is often the case with Lebanon, numerous domestic and foreign factors complicate what should be a straightforward political process.

    • Sada - Analysis

    Oman's Shura Council Elections and Aspirations for Change

    On October 27, Omanis will elect representatives to their 85-member lower house of parliament, the Shura Council, for four year terms beginning in 2008. Some analysts consider the Council, established in 1991, to be the most advanced in the Gulf region apart from Kuwait's, and see it as part of a gradual move toward democracy and wider popular participation.

    • Sada - Analysis

    How Criticizing Arab Governments Becomes Illegal

    • Moataz El Fegiery
    • August 18, 2008

    Unwilling to remain on the sidelines in the reform debate that the region has witnessed for the past two years, Arab governments have asserted themselves against civil society activists and reformists, creating a significant rise in the numbers of Arab prisoners of conscience.

    • Commentary

    Turmoil in Central Asia

    As the security situation in Afghanistan worsens, the international community has overlooked signs of political instability throughout Central Asia that could render Afghanistan even more unstable.

    • Sada - Analysis

    Is the Moroccan Electoral System Unfair?

    In looking at the September 2007 elections to Morocco’s lower house of parliament, foreign observers agreed on two principal conclusions: the elections were conducted freely and fairly, but the election system itself was unfair, not allowing the emergence of any strong party. But are these conclusions justified?

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