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The Arab world is at present undergoing one of its most profound political upheavals in decades. This is represented in the wave of the Arab Spring mass uprisings which has dominated the Arab world since 2011. The Arab Spring has sanctioned the beginning of a new chapter in Arab politics. It has broken the long-standing taboo that saw Arab leaders as immune from mass revolutions and viewed political change as a top-downwards process initiated by either military coups or foreign intervention. Indeed, the Arab Spring has signalled the first manifestation of mass popular demand for more democratic governance in the Arab world. In addition, it has already brought back participative politics to these countries. One of the main features of modern Arab politics was the death of participative politics, as the political process was monopolized by corrupt elites. After the democracy wave, the people became a central actor in the political process. Younger generations are now engaged in politics. Even Salafi fundamentalists and Sufi spiritualists, who used to stay aloof from politics, are now well-entrenched in the political process through their own political parties.
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“The strategic alliance between Egypt and Israel has collapsed”. Ha’aretz. 14 February 2011; available at: http://www.alhadath-yemen.com/news11631.html.
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This support was clearly evident in the run-off elections between the Brotherhood’s candidate Mohammad Morsy and ex-General Ahmad Shafiq. Following the end of vote-casting, the Muslim Brotherhood compiled preliminary election returns from nearly all polling centres, and unilaterally declared Morsy as the winner, with almost 52 % of the vote. Although the Brotherhood’s move was illegal, the Obama administration demanded that the SCAF declared the election results without investigating the hundreds of appeals presented by Shafiq to the Election Commission. On 20 June 2012, US Secretary of State Clinton stated that Washington insisted that the SCAF must turn power over to the “legitimate winner” of the country’s first post-Mubarak presidential elections, and not subvert constitutional authority. In fact, if the SCAF-appointed Election Commission had investigated the appeals, they would have reversed the preliminary results due to the forging of about a million ballots. However, on 24 June and under intense US pressure, the Commission declared Morsy the winner of Egypt’s presidential elections.
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- The Arab Spring and Arms Control: Any Change in Arab Perceptions?
Gamal M. Selim
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg
- Chapter 6