Speaking on Viewpoints with James Zogby, Carnegie's Marwan Muasher explained why the Tunisian elections provide an exemplary model for the Arab world on what the beginnings of a democratic transition can look like. According to Marwan Muasher, “the results of the election, which was free from violence; the turnout, which was near 90 percent; the election committee, which ensured transparency; and the role of the military, all were very encouraging signs.” Although there is significant concern over the role of the Islamic Ennahda party, Muasher suggested that so far, Ennahda has shown itself to be a moderate Islamic party and has even run unveiled women candidates. Moreover, he pointed out that these elections are for a constituent assembly to draft a constitution. If Tunisians are unhappy with Ennahda, they can simply vote them out in the next elections, which are a year away.
In countries like Syria and Libya, and even Egypt to a certain extent, where the situation is still fluid and tumultuous, “Tunisia provides a great example of how a transitional election should unfold,” noted Muasher.
The Carnegie Middle East Program combines in-depth local knowledge with incisive comparative analysis to examine economic, sociopolitical, and strategic interests in the Arab world. Through detailed country studies and the exploration of key crosscutting themes, the Carnegie Middle East Program, in coordination with the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, provides analysis and recommendations in both English and Arabic that are deeply informed by knowledge and views from the region. The program has special expertise in political reform and Islamist participation in pluralistic politics.
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