Yemen and the Muslim Brotherhood victory in Egypt
In a way, they are correct, and his first announcement to choose an independent prime minister seems like a step in the right direction.
Politically turned ideological parties, such as Islah in Yemen, have a larger chance at creating real change in the Arab world today than traditional politicians. This is because they started from the bottom up and have been in close contact with communities.
However, the risk of corruption as they come to power is still very high since there are no accountability institutions to keep whoever runs the country in line.
Take the parliament for example, or the judiciary system, or the police institutions or the media and civil society. All are too weak to be cared about and, yet, feared as watchdogs representing the people.
Change—any change—is good because it allows space to move and aspire for something different. The Muslim Brotherhood’s victory in Egypt will definitely encourage Yemen’s Islah Party. However, we need to ensure that whoever comes to power knows there will always be opposition to create balance.
Moreover, Islah, which is already part of government, needs to realize that ideological rule is no longer possible or wise. Even when the Islamic state was in its prime, there was no religious terrorism forcing those who are different to believe in the same way the powerful religious do.
The most important matter is that, while parties take turns holding power, it is a modern state with strong institutions that will take the country forward, no matter how strong a party leaders’ religious sentiment is.