Activists call for democratization of Persian Gulf Arab states

Activists call for democratization of Persian Gulf Arab states
Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:11:36

Democracy activists have urged the Persian Gulf Arab states to undertake wide-ranging political reforms, including the establishment of elected parliaments and constitutions and allowing political parties.

“The (Persian) Gulf people should be allowed to elect their representatives in a democratic way and through a direct ballot,” said the liberal Gulf Forum for Civil Societies on Monday.

The Forum includes dozens of liberal intellectuals, academics, writers and rights activists drawn from all the Persian Gulf states.

Such elections should also lead to the establishment of parliaments with supervisory and legislative powers, it said in a statement.

In all the states of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council rulers have the final say in internal and external affairs.

Only Kuwait and Bahrain have the so-called elected parliaments with legislative powers but the powers are limited.

Members of Saudi Arabia’s consultative Shura Council are appointed by the king, while the remaining three states have partially elected bodies with very limited powers.

It also called for allowing political parties, the people’s participation in decision-making and an end to the monopoly of the ruling families on key ministerial posts.

Saudi Arabia as the leading state among five other PGCC member states has claimed support for democracy in other Arab nations while Saudi people suffer from lack of democracy in their homeland.


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