November 14, 2014

A Big Step Forward: Tunisia’s Fragile Democratic Consolidation

By Dafna Rand

Those in Washington still hopeful about the positive potential of the 2011 Arab uprisings should celebrate Tunisia’s successful October 26 legislative elections. By all accounts, the elections were an unprecedented success compared to regional standards: they were competitive, well managed and involved a high national turnout rate (69 percent). The incumbent party, Ennahda, was narrowly defeated. Indeed, the contestation of power is thriving in Tunisia four years after a vegetable vendor set himself ablaze to protest the indignities of the oppressive dictatorship.

It is important to savor—and study—this fall’s rare moment for optimism in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Since 2011, the rest of the region’s political transitions have been overwhelmed by violence and civil strife; whether in Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Libya or Iraq, there has been a paucity of democratic progress across the region.

Read full article at The National Interest.

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