Category Archives: Tunisia

Rebirth of the Middle East and North Africa

By Ruth Pollard Standing amid the violent chaos of Egypt’s Tahrir Square, as the tear-gas hung heavily in the air and badly injured protesters were rushed to makeshift field hospitals, it was easy to feel that the Arab Spring had veered way off script. Democracy, it seems, cannot deliver the Hollywood ending many have come to expect from such an extraordinary year. Twelve months ago, it was impossible to imagine an Egypt without Hosni Mubarak (30 years in power), a Libya without Muammar Gaddafi (42 years), a Tunisia without Zine El Abidine Ben Ali (23 years), or a Yemen without Ali Abdullah Saleh (33 years). Since then, we have been … Continue reading

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Tunisian Islamist Party on course to win general election

Tunisia’s moderate Islamist party, Ennahda, is claiming victory in the country’s first democratic elections. Official results are expected on Tuesday, but provisional results suggest that Ennahda will win most votes while falling short of a majority. Its main rival, the secular centre-left PDP party, has admitted defeat. International observers praised the conduct of Sunday’s election as free and fair. However, unlike its eastern neighbour Libya, Tunisia’s transition from authoritarian rule has been largely peaceful. Ennahda’s leaders have pledged to create a multi-party, secular democracy, and not an Islamist state. A spokeswoman for the party, Yusra Ghannouchi, said: “Tunisians have voted in fact for those parties that have been consistently part … Continue reading

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