Tunisia

Tunisia

By Larbi Sadiki On 13 October, the election of retired constitutional law professor, Kais Saied, as Tunisia’s new president triggered a wide array of reactions and energised hopes for a promising Arab democracy. During his campaign as a low-profile candidate with no established political affiliation, he asserted, ‘I am independent and will remain so until the end of my life.’ Some analysts paid close attention to the inverse relationship between, on the one hand, the presumed ‘effectiveness’ of political institutions and parties and, on the other, citizen participation. Saied’s victory implies several ironies in a country that was the cradle…
  By Larbi Sadiki The Tunisian presidential race is heating up. With several front-runners and twenty-six candidates, the upcoming early elections on 15 September reflects a great deal of party and ‘party family’ fragmentation. This article examines the travails and challenges of the north African country’s second democratic presidential elections since the 2011 revolution. The presidential race is unfolding more as a personal political contest rather than a clash between competing political visions for a country weighed down by steep unemployment, deep socio-political marginalisation and massive foreign debt in a conflict-ridden region. Many parties, three political currents These elections come…
By Larbi Sadiki Ennahda’s Tenth Congress in May 2016 was a leap of faith into re-endorsing the movement’s historical leadership as well as learning to ‘Tunisify’ its specific brand of Islamism – or whatever is left of it. The stakes are high, and so are the challenges lurking ahead. At a historical juncture of intra-Islamist divisions from Morocco to Egypt over matters of substance and organisation, and parallel divisions among secularists, Tunisia’s Islamists seem to favour the contest of power over the contest of ideology: policy is now primary; ideology is secondary. Have they ‘killed’ Muslim Brotherhood ideologues Hassan Al-Banna,…
By Al Jazeera Centre for Studies On Friday, 26 June, Tunisia witnessed the deadliest armed attack in its history, leaving thirty-eight people, mostly British tourists, dead, and thirty-nine injured. This attack came three months after the Bardo National Museum attack, in which many foreign tourists were killed. The June attack, in Sousse, raised glaring questions about the efficacy of measures taken by the security forces to prevent attacks after Bardo. The Sousse attack marked a new approach by armed groups in which they target Tunisia’s most vital economic sector – tourism, which provides employment for about half a million people.…

Ennahda’s post-election future

  • 14 November, 2014
  • Published in Tunisia
By Afro-Middle East Centre During the four years following former president Ben Ali’s ouster in January 2011, Tunisians have experienced tumultuous changes: the economy has stagnated, security has worsened, and increased freedoms have wrought a resurgence in public expressions of religiosity. On the political scene, four governments have been formed, two politicians have been assassinated, and a new constitution has been adopted in its fourth draft.
By Abdul Latif al-Hanachi Introduction Tunisia’s political elite overcame various obstacles during the initial stages of democratic transition, and successfully revived several constitutional institutions,[1] thanks to the spirit of rapprochement and the concessions made by major political players. The Constitution of the Second Republic that was finalised earlier this year is comparable to the constitutions of mature democracies, and superior in some respects.[2] The constituent assembly also issued a law governing elections and referenda,[3] and elected nine members to the Higher Independent Electoral and Referendum Commission to oversee the legislative and presidential elections scheduled for 26 October 2014 and 23…
By Afro-Middle East Centre   The resignation of Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali on 19 February is just the latest development in a protracted political crisis in Tunisia. For months, the opposition to the ruling Islamist Ennahda government coalition has demanded the dissolution of the government and a new round of elections to restore trust in the political leadership. However, Ennahda has insisted on its legitimate mandate and the need to create a broad ruling coalition, which would eliminate the task of drafting a constitution and thus
By Esam Al-Amin In early 1994 a small Islamic think tank affiliated with the University of South Florida (USF) planned an academic forum to host Rachid Ghannouchi, the leader of the main opposition party in Tunisia, Ennahda. The objective of this annual event was to give Western academics and intellectuals a rare opportunity to engage an Islamically-oriented intellectual or political leader at a time when the political discourse was dominated by Samuel Huntington's much hyped clash of civilizations thesis. Shortly after the public announcement of the event, pro-Israeli groups and advocates led by Martin Kramer, Daniel Pipes, Steven Emerson, the…
By AlJazeera Centre for Studies Whether foreseen or unexpected, the continuing developments in Tunisia's political arena do not cease to surprise observers. With the approaching elections for the country's Constituent Assembly, scheduled for 23 October, various voices are already calling for a referendum on the same day to decide on the length of the term of the Assembly. Meanwhile, employees of the state security apparatuses have launched a series of protest actions. These culminated on Tuesday, 6 September, when a number of security personnel who had been protesting in al-Qasabah Square in Tunis broke into the Government Palace where Tunisia's…
By AlJazeera Centre for Studies A recent document titled the ‘citizenship initiative’ has raised a great deal of controversy in the Tunisian political arena. Immediately after the committee tasked with preparing the draft electoral law took its vote, Yadh Ben Achour, the president of the Higher Political Reform Commission, announced that his commission would begin discussing how to make the document binding on the Constituent Assembly (parliament) and on candidates who will be standing for the elections scheduled for next July.  In the first round of discussions over the document, the drafting of which largely took place outside of the…

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