Popular support vital for success of uprisings, says Jazeera panel
June 20 2019 12:56 AM
A discussion in progress at the seminar. PICTURE: Othman Khalid

By Ayman Adly / Staff Reporter

For a movement like the Arab Spring to succeed, it would require popular support as well as the backing of the political parties active in a country, speakers at a seminar organised by Al Jazeera Center for Studies said.
A strong desire for change is the key to success for such uprisings, they said while taking part in the seminar titled ‘Arab Spring 2? The Shifting Sands Threatening the Mena Politics’.
The seminar discussed the reflections of the popular uprisings in Algeria and Sudan and their potential influences in the Middle East and North Africa Region (Mena). 
The speakers were Adelwahab el-Affendi, Dean of the School of Social Sciences and Humanities at Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, Dr Shafeeq Ghabra, Professor of Political Science at Kuwait University and Haoues Taguia, Researcher at Al Jazeera Centre for Studies.
Dr Ghabra stressed that the Arab Spring that started in 2011 was the beginning of the return of politics at the popular level to the Arab World.
It began with voicing some economic and social demands, besides installing a political system that included the citizens under its umbrella rather than excluding them.
He pointed out that what was happening now in Sudan and Algeria was the people looking for a responsible and accountable government with proper separation of powers, adequate laws for the media, better civil society and proper political organisation.
He also stressed that if the uprisings there succeeded in achieving a considerable part of such demands, it would protect them and take them forward, “but if it fails, it would get them into a phase of disruptions”. 
El-Affendi pointed out that the current situation in Sudan was not the first of its type in its history as the country had two successful experiences in 1964 and 1986 with proper democratic movements.
However, the disputes between the political parties and powers eventually led to the collapse of such successes, creating further disputes.
He also stressed the need to maintain an independent entity to maintain the integrity of the constitution as a safeguard for the country.
Taguia said that studies indicated that when there is a popular uprising with the support and backing of great numbers of the people, the chances of success for this would be greater as the military would certainly shun away from using force to deter the people.
He also pointed out that the uprising in Algeria has a good chance of success as the idea of the absolute leader is not there in the Algerian political mentality and there is a good opportunity for achieving collaboration among 
the active political parties there.
Dr Ghabra saw the Arab Spring as a great window of hope in the Arab world, particularly among its young people even though they are suffering from a myriad of problems in education, employment and other daily issues.
They still find the courage and desire to voice their opinions and need for change breaking the barriers of fear and dependency, he said.

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