Despite his failings, Essebsi deserves credit for holding the country together after multiple terrorist attacks. Contrary to his own beliefs, however, mounting corruption, nepotism and a culture of impunity may be larger threats to Tunisia’s democracy than the one posed by jihadists. To address these issues, Essebsi will have to hold himself, his son and his political allies accountable.
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His first order of business was to withdraw the controversial tax bill when his cabinet, made up of a mix of old and new faces, was sworn in on 14 June. The more difficult task will be deciding what to replace the tax bill with, given Jordan’s economic woes and dependency on international financial institutions.
The arrest comes at the same time that Saudi Arabia has detained a number of prominent women’s rights activists, ironically just ahead of the date set to lift the ban on women driving in the kingdom. The arrests of both the activists and al-Rashid have provoked an outcry from rights groups and a statement of concern from the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, but so far international action has been limited.
Salah shies away from politics and seems to want to avoid problems with the state. He donated 5 million Egyptian pounds ($285,000) to the public Tahya Masr (‘long live Egypt’) fund that is used for large ‘national’ government projects such as the Suez Canal extension and the new administrative capital. Even so, he has found himself an unwilling political pawn, either being used for political gain or smeared by pro-regime media.
Erdogan has cemented his place in the history books as modern Turkey’s second-most notable ruler, but he seems determined to better that. Even after last year’s referendum, he has orchestrated a purge of elected AKP officials in cities where results from the vote were lower than expected. Loyalty to Erdogan seems to be the sole determinant of survival in this latest reshuffle of Turkish politics. If Turkey’s future seems unsure, one thing is certain: Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be at its centre.
Following the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011, he claimed that the regime of President Bashar al-Assad was responsible for creating the radical jihadist al-Nusra Front. However, he remains politically active, despite confirming Taymour as his political heir in March 2017. For example, he blamed Saudi Arabia for the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri in November 2017.
Bin Zayed grew up witnessing the rapid transformation of the UAE from huts to Hilton hotels and skyscrapers. Along the way, his father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan, elder brother Khalifa and he learned two valuable lessons: the UAE cannot survive without outside protection and they need to remain strategically significant to keep mainly their Western allies interested and on board. Moreover, the country’s geographical location puts it between two regional powers that historically have shown an interest in controlling it.
At a time when the increasingly powerful Saudi crown prince is promoting his openness to economic and some social reforms, al-Nafjan and other activists are fighting for women’s rights that go beyond the lifting of the driving ban. Yet their arrest is a clear sign that further improvements in women’s rights are a long way off.
Many failed to realize that Haftar amassed a large base of support among former members of the Libyan army who had fought against Gadafi in 2011 and who felt threatened as the Islamists began to “purify” the state of elements of the “old regime.” Haftar portrayed himself as Libya’s saviour (“Libya’s Sisi”) from Islamist organizations spreading chaos.