Tunisia: Islamic Democracy
Elections, Rights and obligations, Civil Liberties, the role of Islam and its Feasibility in the 21thCentury
Name: Zahra Aziz (3076)
Professor: Mohammed K. Elowny
Class: Democratization 420
Date: November 18, 2013
Tunisia: Islamic Democracy
Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali has ruled Tunisia for over two decades with tyranny. The autocratic government of Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali was toppled on January 14, 2011 and since then number of steps were taken to establish a democratic government. National Constituent Assembly was established for drafting a new constitution that would guarantee free and fair elections, civil liberties, rights and obligations, minority rights, equality and the role of Islam in the new democracy. After overthrowing Ben Ali’s regime three main steps were undertaken such as transition to democracy, drafting the new constitution and holding elections as main requirement of democracy(Michigan State University, 2012).
After toppling the old autocratic regime, the transitional government took power on February 27, 2011 and on October 24, 2011 the Tunisians experienced their first elections in over 60 years. As the result, neither the Islamists nor the seculars received majority of the seats in the National Constituent Assembly and the Islamist Party “Ennahda” established coalition government with Tunisia’s secular parties including the “Congress for the Republic” and “Ettakatol”(Ottaway, 2013, pp. 1-2).
The Tunisian Revolution resulted in the collapse of Ben Ali’s regime after 23 years of autocratic rule. The Tunisian Revolution is known as the “Jasmine Revolution” for its successful toppling of the longstanding Ben Ali’s regime in less than a month in order to installa liberal democracy(Miller, 2011). Moreover, today number of questions arises among the Tunisians as the consequence of revolutionand the current political situation such as why “Mohammed Bouazizi” immolated himself? Why the President Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali’s military could not suppress the mass demonstrations? Why did an act of an ordinary Tunisian ignite the Revolution? Therefore, Tunisians need to explore answers for these questions for overcoming the current political, social, and economic crises because the main goal of Tunisian Revolution was end the crisis. However, it could not overcome all the miseries due to its absence of a proper leadership.
The Tunisians were successful to force Ben Ali to step down and establisha new democratic system that they dreamed about day and night for decades. The main political actors’ such as the Ennahda Islamists, the Seculars and other civil society organizations must attempt to achieve ends for which Mohammed Bouazizi burned himself that resulted in a revolution that rapidly spread to other Middle East countries.
In addition, the new democratic administration must achieve ends such as economic stability by providing...