Aug 13, 2006

Hereditary dictatorships

In the 1990s the speculation grew about the imminent departure of some Arab leaders. The succession for monarchies such Jordan, Morocco and Saudi was mostly clear however in Syria, Egypt, Libya and Iraq there were speculations. Asad, Mubarak, Gaddafi and Saddam all started grooming their sons to succeed them while denying any intentions of inheritance of power.

Asad was the first to go and was succeeded by his son Bashar. Saddam’s plans for Qusay were spoiled by the US invasion. But Gaddafi and Mubarak are continuing their plans for their sons.

The sons are very different from their fathers, they did not live through the rough times of independence, coups and war. They grew up under their father’s absolute rule and had all their wishes granted. They’re also more educated – some are - and are aware of the negative perceptions the world has about their fathers and eventually them. They also have to deal with the old guard that served their fathers, who will be reluctant to any change.

It will be interesting to see if these successions come true and how much different will the sons be from the their fathers.

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