Friday, June 3, 2011
As street protests and police violence continue unabated in Syria and Yemen, the situation in Yemen becomes clearer through recent reports of the constitution of opposition forces. The opposition is mainly led by tribal formations and groupings, each of whom have a factional following. The most prominent tribal formation is led by a family that are already very powerful, with brothers in key government and military positions. One of them is a general, another a speaker of parliament, yet another the richest businessman in the country. The opposition, strongly supported by the masses, is led by the elite, as is inevitable in the current climate. The important concern here relates directly to the question of mass participation if the elite assume leadership positions immediately after an ouster. Once Saleh is out, do the new centres of power become autocratic right away?