Results for Tag: Beji Caid Essebsi
Tunisia is tending towards a hybrid system. The crucial point here is that such a hybrid system would probably not be able to carry out the key reforms which both the international community and the Tunisian population expect. Reforming the state apparatus and highly corrupt economic structures is imperative to ensure sustainable social and political stability in Tunisia. Preventing hybrid political structures from becoming entrenched is therefore of critical importance.
Voters now seem to have had enough. The low turnout in Tunisia’s first local elections, held in May 2018, falling from more than 90 per cent in 2011 to 66 per cent in 2014 to only 33.7 per cent of registered voters, might be a bad omen. This should arguably be a bigger concern than the future of Nidaa Tounes.
A serious dialogue on proposals that could contribute to more legitimacy and institutional trust seems to be out of reach as long as gender and sexuality remain central to the debate and the experience of identity, reinforced by media and foreign (formal) colonial powers, who still tend to consider those issues as critically important indicators for progress and democracy. Given the current economic and political crisis, the Colibe recommendations could serve as an excellent opportunity to reinvigorate the identity discourse and develop a more practical approach to establishing a sustainable and democratic rule of law.
Despite the increasing number of Tunisians crossing irregularly to Europe, the figure is still relatively low compared to those migrating from elsewhere in Africa and the Middle East. Rising xenophobia in Italy has nonetheless framed Tunisian migrants as a bunch of terrorists that were recently pardoned from prison.
Whether the President reacts positively or not, the issue is now in the public sphere and the COLIBE’s recommendations for a better Tunisia are out in the open. If it was to be adopted and the article 230 abolished, it would be a first step towards decriminalizing homosexuality and a unique example in the MENA region for other countries to follow.
Historically, January has been the month of social unrest: from the infamous bread riots in January 1984, to the revolution in January 2011 and the protests over high unemployment in January 2016. Although all of them were violently suppressed, most resulted in major regime change, whether it be ousters, resignations, or in one case, exile. What it will be this time around only time will tell.