Democracy on the March?

BARRY IVERSON for TIME

Voters in Riyadh supported staunch Islamic candidates

Did Osama Bin Laden win last week's elections in his native Saudi Arabia, the first ever held in the Kingdom? Not quite — but the al-Qaeda leader's sympathizers should be more than satisfied with the results of 38 municipal contests held Thursday, the first round in a series of three such elections around the country. Islamic conservatives outpolled nearly 650 other candidates — including contenders with powerful tribal links and businessmen who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars — for all seven seats up for grabs on the Riyadh city council. They were better organized, emphasizing their technocratic skills while having...

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