Saudi-Arabiens Kinderschritt der Demokratie

Die Wahlen in Irak und für die Präsidentschaft der Palästinensischen Autonomiebehörde in diesem Monat mögen zur Zeit weltweit Schlagzeilen machen, es wird jedoch noch eine weitere, potenziell weitreichende Abstimmung vorbereitet, wenn auch unter weit weniger Beifall: das Registrierungsverfahren für die Kommunalwahlen in Saudi-Arabien Mitte Februar läuft. Als Hochburg einiger der stärksten islamistischen Kräfte überhaupt kann diese saudische Initiative – wenn sie erfolgreich und Vorbote anderer notwendiger Veränderungen ist – möglicherweise eine noch tief greifendere Wirkung haben als die Wahlen in Irak und Palästina.

Man rechnet mit etwa 40.000 Saudis, die sich um 1.700 Sitze in 178 Gemeinderäten bemühen werden. Die Begeisterung ist offensichtlich und der Wahlkampf läuft bereits auf Hochtouren. Mitglieder der saudischen Königsfamilie nehmen nicht am Wahlkampf teil, da sie ohnehin die ultimative politische Macht innehaben. Sie haben aber wegen der spürbaren Aufregung in der Öffentlichkeit dafür gesorgt, bei der Registrierung für ihren Wahlausweis von der örtlichen und der internationalen Presse fotografiert zu werden.

Gemessen an westlichen Demokratien und sogar an den aufstrebenden Demokratien der Dritten Welt sind die saudischen Kommunalwahlen eine ausgesprochen bescheidene Angelegenheit. Aber im saudischen Kontext sind sie ein echter Durchbruch.

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