Dust Settles in Tunisia

By , 17 January, 2011, 1 Comment

A second post on the Tunisian turmoil at Foreign Exchange:

Six members of Ben Ali’s government–technocrats, not core political advisors–have retained their posts or moved into new and equally senior ones, including the President, Prime Ministership and the ministries of defense and foreign affairs; three opposition leaders, from the centre-left have been granted minor cabinet posts; they are joined by a handful of trade unionists, lawyers and civil society figures. The new cabinet has committed itself–in addition to organizing the elections–to lifting the ban on NGOs, including the Tunisian Human Rights League, and on freedom of information and expression, or the lifting of Ben Ali’s censorship regime.

Here’s what’s not in the announcement: the three most radical opposition voices–the secular leftist academic Moncef Marzouki’s party, Hamma Hammami’s hard-left communist worker’s party, and the Islamist Ennadha led by Rached Gannouchi–were not invited to the talks. These three parties were banned from Ben Ali’s regime, while the three parties brought into the interim coalition were always considered by Ben Ali as ‘legitimate’ opposition. Under his dictatorship, to be legitimate was meaningless, as there were no free elections to contest. But carrying over that distinction–picking and choosing your political opponents–into a post-revolt government that plans to transition Tunisia to democracy is problematic, especially when those parties command such large support among the demographics–the young, the students, the poor–who were in the front lines of the revolt.

Read the rest here.

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1 Response {+}
  • Lyle

    The Bush Doctrine’s “Appalachian Spring” is finally coming to fruition in Tunisia and Egypt.

    Way to go neo-cons!!!

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