The Tunisian Elections:

A Glimmer of Hope in the Face of Radical Islamism?

November 24, 2014  |  By Mélissa Dauby, France

The Tunisian Elections:

Photo : Beji Caid el Sebsi / Wiki Commons

The Tunisian Elections:

Photo : Moncef Marzouki / Wiaki Commons

This Sunday, November 23rd of 2014, Tunisian went to the voting booths to elect their first president since Ben Ali and the Jasmine Revolution of January 2011. Mehdi Jomaa, the current prime minister, has qualified the elections as a hope, a big hope for the region. Indeed, in a period where the world is fighting against terrorism and radical islamism, Tunisia seems like a glimmer of hope in the Arab world.

In the general elections of this October, Nidaa Tounes obtained the relative majority to the Tunisian assembly in front of Ennahdha. Nidaa Tounes is an anti-islamist political party. Its victory against Ennahdha, an islamist party and the first political power of the country since 2011, appeared as a sign of the will of Tunisians to get out of the Arab spring and the disorder which reigns in the Arab countries. Moreover, for these presidential elections, Ennahdha did not propose a candidate.

Between the 27 candidates for the presidency, it seems like the elections are going to happen between Beji Caid Essebsi, the leader of Nidaa Tounes, and Moncef Marzouki, the current president. On the one hand, certain people blame Beji Caid Essebsi for the presence of people close to the former political regime of Ben Ali in his own party. On the other hand, Moncef Marzouki is accused of being too close to Ennahdha. However, Beji Caid Essebsi is given as favorite.

The results of the first round of the elections will be revealed on December, 21st. If the majority are obtained by no party in the first tour of the ballot, the second round will occur between December, 26th and December, 28th. Then, the name of the president will be revealed definitively on January 25th, 2015.

No matter the results of these elections, whether Beji Caid Essebsi or Moncef Marzouki are elected, Tunisia appears as a role model for other Arab countries. Thus, Tunisia is a glimmer of hope, not only for themselves but also for the Arab world and the fight against radical islamism.

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