Der Tod König Fahds

Saudi-Arabiens Jahrzehnt der königlichen Totenwache ist vorbei. König Fahd, der König mit der längsten Amtszeit in Saudi-Arabiens Geschichte (24 Jahre), ist tot. Sechs Wochen lang lag der König im Krankenhaus und rang mit dem Tod, was er eigentlich tat, seit er vor 10 Jahren einen schweren Schlaganfall erlitt. Wer der neue König ist, steht fest, nicht aber, wer wirklich die Macht ausüben wird.

Wie bei Marschall Titos Tod in einem zerstrittenen Jugoslawien befürchten die adligen Verwandten des Königs (die auch seine politischen Untergebenen sind), dass durch den Tod des Herrschers Chaos ausbricht. Diese Befürchtungen treten zu einer Zeit auf, in der in großen Teilen des Nahen Ostens demokratische Veränderungen heiß diskutiert werden. Von Ägypten über den Libanon bis in den Iran nehmen die politischen Leidenschaften zu, begleitet von einem erneuerten Optimismus. Straßendemonstrationen, Wahlen und politische Diskussionen in Cafés und im Internet erblühen wie nie zuvor. Selbst die konservativen Staaten der arabischen Halbinsel sind in lebhafte Diskussionen über weibliche Minister, schiitische Vertretung, islamistische Beteiligung am politischen Prozess und sogar über die Zukunft ihrer herrschenden Monarchien verwickelt. Aus diesem dynamischen Umfeld fällt Saudi-Arabien heraus.

Saudi-Arabien scheint sich tatsächlich mit seinem kranken und schwachen Staatskörper in einem Zustand der vorübergehenden Leblosigkeit zu befinden. Das Land steht vor zwei Wahlmöglichkeiten: progressive Reform oder anhaltende Lähmung und Zerfall.

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