Первый демократический шаг Саудовской Аравии

Выборы в Ираке и президентские выборы в Палестине, которые пройдут в этом месяце, возможно, будут претендовать на все заголовки мировой прессы, но еще один потенциально далеко идущий избирательный бюллетень идет полным ходом, хотя он привлекает меньше внимания: процесс регистрации для участия в муниципальных выборах, которые пройдут в Саудовской Аравии в середине февраля. Будучи центром некоторых сильнейших Исламистских сил, такая попытка Саудовской Аравии – если она будет успешной и станет предвестником других необходимых изменений – может оказать даже более глубокое воздействие, чем выборы в Ираке и Палестине.

По предварительным данным, около 40000 саудовцев будут бороться за 1700 мест в 178 муниципальных советах. Энтузиазм очевиден, и кампания уже очень энергично идет полным ходом. Члены Саудовской королевской семьи не участвуют в борьбе, поскольку они уже обладают окончательной политической властью. Но, чувствуя волнение публики, они позаботились о том, чтобы их сфотографировали местные и международные СМИ, пока они регистрировались для получения избирательных удостоверений личности.

По стандартам Запада и даже зарождающихся демократических государств Третьего Мира, муниципальные выборы в Саудовской Аравии – это чрезвычайно скромное событие. Но в контексте Саудовской Аравии это, действительно, большое достижение.

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