Ten years after its protests sparked the Arab Spring, Tunisia remains the lone country in the Middle East to have effectively changed its system of governance. Yet many Tunisians have mixed feelings about how much progress their country has made.
Like most of its North African neighbors, Tunisia saw little attention from the Trump Administration, compared to other parts of the Middle East such as Egypt, Iran, or Israel.
The outbreak of Covid-19, which first hit Tunisia in February 2020, days after the formation of the new government, is a massive test for the Tunisian government and people, particularly those in the traditionally marginalized southern and interior regions.
From an economy wracked by the Covid-19 pandemic, to growing political polarisation, to persistent corruption, Tunisia’s political future remains uncertain.
The current parliament is the most fractured in Tunisia’s history, with no party holding even one-quarter of the seats.
On June 27, Tunisia opened its land, sea, and air borders for the first time in three months. While the government’s aggressive response to the coronavirus successfully limited the number of cases in Tunisia, the shutdown caused severe economic stress.
Nearly a decade after the revolution in Tunisia, much of the crucial legislation designed to protect women exists on paper alone, with significant work remaining to implement the laws.
Tunisia’s economic fallout from a coronavirus outbreak and the rise of unemployment claims will further compound social and regional inequalities across the country.
While countries worldwide have announced lockdowns to block the coronavirus, North African governments are using the opportunity to further quell freedom of expression and advance their agendas. Will civil society stand their ground?
The new Fakhfakh government has the task of addressing the country’s enduring socioeconomic challenges.