Lost in daily reports concerning terrorism and the Middle East are interesting developments taking place in the small country of Nepal. In a rather unusual twist of events, a Maoist prime minister, Pushpa Kamal Dahai, has been sworn in an prime minister and the first act of the new legislature was abolishing the 239 year old monarchy. During the past decade the country has been torn between a Maoist led rebellion and a monarch who wanted to control all power. King Gyanendra from 2005 on tried to rule with an iron fist only to encounter a popular uprising by ordinary citizens who forced him to accept a democratic legislature in 2006. Women, who had limited rights under the monarchy now constitute one third of members of the legislature.
The Maoists still retain their army and it is questionable if they will integrate that armed force into the regular army. A helpful sign is that all parties, including the Maoists, have asked the United Nations to continue assisting the transition to democracy. Will a Maoist government continue adhering to democratic principles is an interesting question.
South Africa has made a dramatic switch from being a country in which apartheid and prejudice ruled into one in which there are competing nations which view for leadership. However, the recent case brought by the government against African National Congress leader, Jacob Zuma, threatens to undo much as to what has been accomplished in creating a democracy. Zuma is charged with fraud, money laundering and corruption. His followers are demanding the charges be dropped because he is such a key leader and charging him with crimes distracts from his importance in leading the nation.
This blog does not know if Jacob Zuma is innocent or guilty, but that verdict must be rendered by a court of law.Zuma is a charismatic leader, but he must face charged against him in court and put up a defense that proves the government has a trumped up case. In so doing, Zuma will be telling the people of South Africa that no single person is above the law.
the United States ripped into the Egyptian government for arresting hundreds of members of the Muslim Brotherhood at a time when many are engaged in upcoming elections. “We are concerned,” said the US comment, “by a continuing campaign of arrests in Egypt of individuals who are opponents of the current governing party and are involved in the upcoming local elections.” About 350 members of the Muslim Brotherhood have been arrested in the past few weeks. However, despite harsh words from the White House, Secretry of State Condoleezza Rice earlier this month waived a $1000 million freeze on American aid to Egypt which had been placed due to human rights violations. The Egyptian government responded in anger at interference in their internal affairs.
The Bush administration continues insisting democracy is the path to stability in the Middle East. China retains its authoritarian style government as it slowly moves ahead and it is expected over time the enormous economic development of that nation eventually will result in development of a democratic society. Bush reacted with fury when Hamas won an election and refused to invite them to the Annapolis Conference, but now, he wants the Muslim Brotherhood, whose platform is not that far different from Hamas, to be accorded an opportunity to win an election. If they win, will Bush recognize their victory?
Posted in George Bush, Human Rights, Islam, Military, Muslims, Politics, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged democracy, Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood