Jul 11 2012
By Fatih Abdulsalam
Azzaman, July 11, 2012
The victory of the liberal alliance in the first free and democratic elections in Libya are bound to reflect positively on the situation in Syria.
The results will probably change convictions of many countries concerning their fears over Syria’s future as it has emerged that Islamist parties are not going to reap the fruit of the sweeping political transformations brought about by the what is collectively known as the Arab Spring.
The elections in Libya demonstrate that the electoral victories by Islamists in both Egypt and Tunisia cannot be taken as a standard for what is going to happen in other Arab states witnessing similar transformations.
The Libyan case shows that besides the Islamists, there are other political groups to reckon with.
The results of the Libyan elections are to reflect more on the Russian scene as Moscow holds the key to how eventually the situation in Syria is to be settled.
Russia, Syria’s strategic allay, wants to be sure what of type of future is in store for Syria if a political transformation takes place there.
It is clear that Moscow does not want Islamists at the helm of power in Syria as such a situation might exacerbate its problems in Chechnya.
That said, one cannot ignore the temporal and organizational differences between Libya’s Islamists and those of other countries such as Tunisia and Egypt and the contrast in the charisma of their leaders which plays a role in their ascendance and infiltration.
But one also cannot gloss over the presence of a strong civil and social movement in Syria with its own personalities, structures and incubations that cannot be contained, marginalized or defeated in a democratic process.
The accumulative impact of the transformations that have taken place in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen can be useful to assess options for Syria’s future.