The Arab Spring: Will It Lead to Democratic Transitions? by Clement Henry, Ji-Hyang Jang

By Clement Henry, Ji-Hyang Jang

This well timed undertaking at the Arab Spring used to be initiated to supply The Asan Institute's personal review of the adjustments at present occurring within the zone and their major implications for South Korea.

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Part of this is due to the military’s extensive economic ventures which had been protected by the old regime and which the military did not wish to subject to public review. But beyond these interests, the military elite are undoubtedly also concerned about its susceptibility to public retribution for its role in suppressing opposition (before, during, and after the uprising). This concern is augmented by the persistent demand by some activists for “justice” vis-à-vis the old regime’s elites. Without some promise of amnesty, the military is hardly provided with sufficient incentives to cede power.

In Tunisia, the military did not have to be persuaded to “give up power” in large part because it never sought to seize it. Fourth, Tunisia embraced a system of proportional representation in its first elections in the hopes of providing representation to even small parties and, in a break with the country’s past experience of single party rule, denying an overwhelming majority to any one party. The country was lucky in that this electoral system did indeed return results that denied any party a majority.

16 In fact, the rules governing the first elections went through three iterations, with the SCAF announcing different percentages of the seats to be elected via proportional representation vs. first-past-thepost. The final version was decided after opposition figures threatened to boycott the elections. After consulting with party leaders the SCAF announced the final version. So some element of inclusion was integrated into the process of rule designation, although only in a very blunt way. Eva Bellin 43 regime were not worked out in an inclusive fashion does not reinforce the legitimacy of the process.

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