Four experts examine the implications Tunisia’s first free and fair local elections may have for political parties, security forces, decentralization, and the democratic transition.
Although Maghreb states have tended to pursue border security unilaterally, increased transnational coordination at the local level offers a more sustainable approach.
Egypt’s efforts at subsidy reform provide suggestions for Tunisia and Sudan, both witnessing protests stemming in part from increased prices of staple goods.
The continued poor performance of the Tunisian economy and the popular discontent might undermine grassroots trust in democracy across the region.
Tunisia’s cabinet reshuffle, Administrative Reconciliation Law, and election postponement are prompting fears of a return of the Ben Ali regime.
Attempting to appease both Tunisia’s international lenders and its domestic socioeconomic movements has eroded the government’s political capital.
How effective have Youssef Chahed’s policies been at addressing Tunisia’s underlying issues?
Despite widespread praise for Youssef Chahed’s anti-corruption efforts, they also risk inflaming elite tensions and undermining Tunisia’s democratic transition.
Without a new decentralizing framework, elections for new local councils in Tunisia will not make them more responsive to local concerns.
“We are heavily counting on Tunisian and international civil society, the media, and every single Tunisian to get involved in this war on corruption.”
Women continue to face challenges in accessing the higher echelons of political power, but also in playing a more substantive role in the policymaking process.
One year before its mandate expires, Tunisia’s Truth and Dignity Commission is struggling to complete its work within a volatile domestic political climate.
To address the Mediterranean migrant crisis, the EU is seeking closer partnerships with North African states.
Granting Tunisian security forces suffrage provides police unions greater leverage over politicians, diminishing prospects for security sector reform.
“No political party, no political actor is able to lead Tunisia alone in this very sensitive and fragile period.”
Tensions persist between Tunisia and its former ally the UAE, but Tunisia hopes renewed ties could balance out its current dependence on Qatar.
Tunisia’s national unity government symbolizes political elites’ willingness to cooperate, but their fragile compromise poses risks to the democratic process.
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