Over the past couple of years, a consensus has been emerging over the issue of democracy and elections in the developing world, brilliantly summed up by Borut Grgic of the Atlantic Council. His topic was the recent uprising in Kyrghystan.
“Illusions that Kyrghystan can be the bastion of Central Asian democracy should be dropped,” he writes in the International Herald Tribune. Among elected members of parliament “There is no sense yet of national duty or sacrifice for the common good…… whoever is elected next will probably not be much different in essence and form from the leader who was last ousted…..Nothing I saw convinced me that we have witnessed a democratic change…..The priority should be on achieving stability and economic growth, a return of functional institutions and a strengthening of law and order.”
Much of Grgic’s assessment could be mirrored for Iraq, Afghanistan and swathes of Africa.