Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

The daytime cabinet! | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Our Arab regimes are set to experience a frightening and worrisome phenomenon for a long time to come; the phenomenon of the “ruling façade”. This is when the ruler seems outwardly to be in control, whilst in fact he is nothing more than a puppet on strings operated by other powers in the background.

This phenomenon relies primarily on a legitimate “ruler” who came to power by democratic and popular means, whilst in fact he serves the interests and desires of other powers in society but behind a curtain. The regime here is not seeking to “govern”, but rather to “control”. According to such a phenomenon, it does not matter whether the ruler is a party, a group or a security apparatus ruling in an overt and direct manner, all that matters is that it can act as a reliable façade for those behind it.

Perhaps the recent statement issued by Nabila Mounib, Secretary-General of the Moroccan Unified Socialist Party, is ample evidence of this particular idea.

Ms. Mounib, criticizing the performance of Abdelilah Benkirane’s government, was quoted as saying: There is a day-light cabinet, not a shadow cabinet, in Morocco, which makes major decisions, whilst the powers of the Abdelilah Benkirane’ government is remarkably limited.

In the Arab Spring states, a variety of governments or leaderships have emerged so far, but some are in fact a new variation on the old form of governance. They are performing the role of a superficial alternative to the same old regime.

In brief, we are now facing the repackaging of old, poor-quality and corrupt goods, and this represents the blatant commercial deception of the Arab consumer.

This style of governance, controlled at a distance, has been used extensively in numerous states in Latin America and Africa, where the final result was that the game was exposed with catastrophic consequences, whereby both the original and alternative regimes were eliminated together.

We are living in a world where people can no longer be deceived forever and the public cannot be cheated, because public awareness is now more profound than that of the elites seeking to rise to power.

This “imitation governance” can no longer be successful in deceiving the people even if it is repackaged or re-branded.

Ruling systems are either legitimate or corrupt; they either believe in the people or in repression, in the peaceful transfer of power or in eternal dominance.

No one can be a half-hearted oppressor, or a quarter righteous, or three quarters of a dictator.

We have now reached a historic moment of sincerity where it has become impossible to deceive the people.

There can no longer be one who rules at night, and one who rules during daytime!