Monday, August 14, 2006

Aminatou Haidar: a great pick for Polisario president

Sahara-Watch had a great post two months ago about a clever move the Polisario Front (the representative body of the Saharawis, similar to Palestine's PLO) could make--electing a human rights advocate named Aminatou Haidar to their presidency. Sahara-Watch expounds on the benefits of electing Haidar and the risks Polisario faces if it doesn't, but I'll paraphrase the benefits Haidar would bring to the PF.
  • She's a woman, so her election would be an example of progressive thinking in the Arab and Muslim world.
  • She's a human rights activist.
  • She'd probably be imprisoned by Morocco after her election, hopefully making her an international cause celebre.
I also think she'd bring a soft touch that'd be welcomed by diplomats used to dealing with desert guerrillas. Unfortunately, the point is moot for now, as Polisario called off the elections in July.

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