Saudi Monarch Says West’s Democracy Not Apt for Region
King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, in an interview published Saturday, ruled out the adoption of Western-style democracy, saying it was not compatible with his country.
The monarch also denied that his recent tentative moves toward democratization were dictated by international pressure in the aftermath of the Gulf War.
After the Gulf War, some Western critics questioned why they should defend Arab monarchies where democracy is nonexistent.
Fahd recently announced he will name a long-promised consultative council to advise him on public opinion. The decision moved his ultraconservative kingdom of 12 million a step closer to popular participation in the government.
But he denied Western pressure played a role in the move and said the council was being developed on the basis of Islamic laws.