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Newsletter 12

Democratic Development in the Arab Region

On 29-30 March 1999, International IDEA organized a round table in Stockholm. Twenty participants from six Arab countries (Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and the Yemen) met to discuss the future of democracy in the Arab World, and to analyse challenges facing democratization processes there. Those attending were politicians, academics, journalists, human rights and civil society activists. After country presentations, discussions centred on topics related to democracy in the Arab world, such as; political parties, civil society, women and youth participation, religion and the state, institutions and judicial systems. Those present provided International IDEA with recommendations and propositions for launching programmes in the Arab region. These recommendations will be studied, and a detailed report will be prepared to summarize the main issues raised. International IDEA's evolving Arab World programme will also be further developed following suggestions from this round table. International IDEA has received a request from two Lebanese Institutions: the Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections (LADE) and the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS) to assist them in a workshop they organized in Beirut, Lebanon, on electoral systems. Designing a new electoral law is a high priority on both the Lebanese Government's and civil society's agendas in preparation for the next parliamentary elections in Lebanon in the year 2000. The workshop took place on 28-29 May 1999, and was attended by Lebanese ministers, MPs, politicians and academics.

Newsletter 12

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