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Special Reports

Post Arab-Spring State Building and Security and Stability in Tunisia

The Arab Spring, a series of anti-authoritarian, pro-democracy revolts in the Arab world, started innocuously in Tunisia. Mohamed Bouazizi, a peasant from Sidi Bouzid, had become distraught over apparent official high-handedness and corruption amid stultifying poverty and in protest publicly committed suicide. That action was the cue that long suffering Tunisians needed to be rid of the long-standing dictator, Zein al-Abedine Ben Ali. The success of the revolution in Tunisia spurred similar revolts in other Arab countries. But while the other Arab countries are still in turmoil, Tunisia appears to have rebounded. In 2011, Tunisians elected a Constituent Assembly to craft a new constitution that would form the basis of a new social compact. Despite the many challenges that nearly scuttled the work of the assembly, including two high-profile political assassinations and the sacking of two transition regimes, the assembly adopted the new constitution on 26 January 2014. The final product, a compromise between Islamists and secularists, is commended as the most liberal in the Arab world. Building on this success, the country will hold national assembly elections in October 2014 and a presidential election in November 2014. Both elections, despite the threat of violence by extremists, are most likely to be peaceful. Generally, it is felt, things are in the upswing in Tunisia, making the country the “lone Arab Spring success story” or “the most promising of the Arab Spring countries.” Read the full report.

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