Tunisia’s Transition Hits a Rough Patch Following COVID Lockdown
Volatile post-election politics continues to limit the government’s ability to address Tunisians grievances.
Since uprisings swept the Middle East and North Africa in 2011, Tunisia has long been regarded as the lone democratic success story. But nearly 10 years later, volatile party politics and authoritarian legacies continue to plague the transition. The October 2019 election cycle, marked by low voter turnout, demonstrated Tunisians deep disenchantment with the political class for its failure to address the grievances that sparked the ouster of longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. After the elections, a government was not formed until February 2020. But months later, Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh resigned over allegations of conflicts of interest. In recent weeks, the political landscape has shifted rapidly. USIP’s Leo Siebert examines the political wrangling and Tunisia’s post-election political struggles.
Supporters of the Islamist party Ennahda listen to a speech by the party’s founder, Rachid Ghannouchi, inside a stadium in the town of Kasserine, Tunisia, Oct. 20, 2011. (Moises Saman/The New York Times).