The Arab Spring indicates the leaders were not interested in encouraging democratic principles which could have accorded the people an environment to achieve their aspirations in free society. The governments in countries such as Libya, Egypt and Yemen that experienced political turmoil had leaderships that had been in power for decades without (Murphy, 2012). In Libya, Muammar Qaddafi had been in power for over forty years establishing a government that solely depended on his ideology. The government was mainly composed Qaddafi’s family members with opposition to his rule being avoided by paying off tribal leaders to ensure continued support of his regime. Other institutions such as independent media and civil society were not given space to operate therefore making it easy for Gaddafi to consolidate power in Libya (Hakimian, 2011).
In Yemen, president Saleh had been in power for over 33 years although he assumed the role as president of a unified Yemen in 1990 after unification the unification of both South and North Yemen, Saleh ruled north Yemen since the 1970’s. In Egypt, Hosni Mubarak had ruled Egypt for around thirty years taking advantage of the state of emergency he had established in 1981 following the assassination of Sadat to ensure there was a weak opposition to his rule. The emergency law ensured the constitution was not effective as the Mubarak regime aimed to crush any opposition against their rule. This made it possible for the government to commit widespread atrocities against the people without any legal implication on the government as the law allowed for the indefinite detention of prisoners while other forms of rights and freedoms such as of expression and assembly were limited.