Tunisia, from hope to delivery

Tunisia, from hope to delivery

Fecha de publicación:
03/2014
Autor:
Francis Ghilès, Associate Senior Researcher, CIDOB
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Notes internacionals CIDOB, núm. 86

Tunisians have reason for optimism. For any regular visitor to Tunis, the change of atmosphere in the capital compared even to last autumn, and certainly to 2012 - is striking. The underlying reason for the change is the adoption of the new constitution in January 2014, which enshrines the equal rights of men and women and the rule of law offers a rare example in the Arab world: a revolt against a dictator ushering in a period of progress, however turbulent and costly in the short term, respect for the rule of law. Tunisia thus represents a rare example in the Arab world: a revolt against a dictator which, a turbulent three years on, has ushered in a period of progress and, since the appointment of Mehdi Jomâa as prime minister, of good government.

There are continuing, grave problems: the country’s economic situation has hardly improved, and the fight against terrorism claims regular victims. Many of these, say the prime minister, are the legacy of the previous years of Islamist government. Mehdi Jomâa is an impressive figure: for the first time since independence in 1956, a Tunisian prime minister speaks frank language of economic truth to those he serves, in vernacular Arabic rather than the pompous classical version usually preferred by the leaders of Ennahda party that dominated the previous government. His tone is quiet and businesslike, a reflexion of the character of the inhabitants of the town from which he hails, Mahdia, which lies down the coast from Tunis.

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