Tattered Tunisia’s Democratic Transition, Thierry Bresilon (Le Monde Diplomacy)

Bread and work: Tunisian riots to overthrow President Ben Ali, Tunis, 27 December 2010

Fethi Belaid AFP Getty

T.his Summer Tunisians approve President Kais Said’s new constitution. The referendum on July 25 showed support for a process started a year before Said suspended his 2014 constitution.

The country is more fragmented than ever. He may have had a 94.6% majority of votes in favor, but turnout was only 28% (2.6 million for him out of 9.3 million registered voters). The gap between Tunisian state institutions and the aspirations of the people is widening: turnout in the 2019 general election was also very low, with the parties that won seats (and most of them opposed Said), and those There were just over 1.7 million votes among them.

Said argues that his “new construction” is necessary to “correct the course of the revolution” which has been “robbed” by Tunisian political parties. We want to establish a truly democratic system that is But he plans to strengthen his powers as president, and the “bottom-up democracy” he once advocated (before the 2019 election) has been pushed aside. He has no support mechanism whatsoever for the government of Zin al-Abidin Ben Ali (who was ousted in the 2010-11 revolution), but he has no political party (he was an independent backed by the Islamist party Ennada). ), nevertheless, he follows its autocratic methods and may even lead them to new extremes in order to make up for his lack of control over the state institutions (civil servants, police, courts). .

Tunisia’s transition to democracy was initially seen as a success story as it avoided the counter-revolution that followed other Arab Spring movements, but later degenerated into a social crisis, economic depression and national decline. State institutions have lost their legitimacy, political parties have lost their credibility.

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Full article: 1 775 words.

(2) Excerpts from June and July 2022 speeches. Tattered Tunisia’s Democratic Transition, Thierry Bresilon (Le Monde Diplomacy)

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