Tunisia: elections point to stability

Summary: municipal elections in Tunisia produce a balanced result, but with a low turnout. Islamists and nationalists may continue to cooperate.

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1 thought on “Tunisia: elections point to stability”

  1. Nahda lost a third of those who voted for it in October 2014 and Nida lost two thirds, a real slap in the face for the two parties which have ruled Tunisia since January 2015. Independent list won more seats than Nahda which suggests the party’s natural weight in the country is around 30 percent. Had the president not appointed his son Hafed whose business connections are more than shady to run Nida the party would have done much better.
    Independent lists in Tunis won in Ariana and La Marsa because they were run by people well respected locally which is also true elsewhere, thus demonstrating the maturity of the electorate.
    The vote was a model of democratic practice, both the electoral commission and NGOs doing all they could to ensure a free and fair vote.
    The abstention vote was large and among the under 25s probably reached 80 percent.
    People are very disillusioned but the question now is whether the political class draws any lessons from the vote.
    Steady as she goes is how senior diplomats in Tunis see it, but reforms are needed. However if the trade unions continue pleading for more money and de facto trying to trip the government up, it will be a bumpy ride. The prime minister is doing a valiant job in tough circumstances but if government authority is not reestablished the two forces which count for most here, the UGTT trade union and the barons of the shadow economy, will come out on top.

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