28 Jan 2011

Mid-East: Will there be a domino effect?

In the wake of the ousting of Tunisia's President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, observers have drawn parallels with other countries in the region. There is speculation about a possible domino effect similar to the collapse of Communist governments around Eastern Europe in 1989.


Egypt - Egypt has many similarities with Tunisia - tough economic conditions, official corruption and little opportunity for its citizens to express their dissatisfaction with the political system. President Hosni Mubarak, 82, has an almost complete monopoly on power, has been in office for three decades and is seeking re-election this autumn.

Yemen - There have been several days of protests in Yemen - the Arab world's most impoverished nation, where nearly half of the population lives on less than $2 a day.

Algeria - As the winter protests escalated in Tunisia, its western neighbour also saw large numbers of young people taking to the streets. As in Tunisia, the trigger appeared to be economic grievances - in particular sharp increases in the price of food.

Libya - "There is none better than Zine to govern Tunisia. Tunisia now lives in fear." Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi's sharp reaction on Saturday to the overthrow of President Ben Ali would seem to reflect his own nervousness about a possible domino effect.

Morocco - Like Tunisia, Morocco has been facing economic problems and allegations of corruption in ruling circles. Morocco's reputation was damaged after Wikileaks revealed allegations of increased corruption, in particular the royal family's business affairs and the "appalling greed" of people close to King Mohammed VI.

Full story on BBC News