Arab revolt: Could Oman turn into ‘next Egypt’?

Observers are nervously watching Oman following unprecedented protests over the weekend, during which several people are reported to have been killed.

The big question is whether this previously stable Gulf state with a large and youthful population could turn into the next Egypt or Tunisia, and whether the unrest could spread to neighbouring giant Saudi Arabia.

One of the key differences between Oman and the larger Arab republics is that people are not (so far) calling for serious regime change.

Rather, they have demanded changes to things that directly affect them: job creation, greater state control over spiralling food prices, more power for the semi-elected majlis al-shura (lower house of parliament), and an end to the perceived corruption of some government members.

Protesters have also not gone as far as to directly criticise Oman’s ruler Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who recently celebrated his 40th anniversary in power.


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