Tunisia, a country that revolutionized the concept of democracy through one of the most potent moments, also termed the Arab spring, has been facing severe turmoil for the last few weeks.
It all started on the evening of July 25 2021, when President Kais Saied made a televised announcement that he was sacking Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi, suspending parliament for 30 days, and removing immunity from ministers.
This whole event in Tunisia has got a diverse response from all over the world. When on one side, the majority of the Tunisians are supporting the decision, the majority of the scholars and leaders are terming this event as a ‘coup’.
Under the pretext of such diverse responses and political turmoil, the whole world has a keen eye towards this small northernmost African nation.
As it raises some big questions about the African region’s political stability and hints towards another dictatorial regime, the world might witness.
The Era of Democracy
After the same ten years of Arab Spring, Tunisia has remained the lone success story in the African region. While its Neighbors collapsed into civil wars or renewed dictatorship, Tunisia transitioned towards a thriving democracy in 2011.
Scholars argue that the homogeneity of the nation made it easy to tackle the dictatorial regime.
When Tunisia’s transition was on the verge of collapse in 2013, with two political assassinations, severe political polarization and the suspension of the country’s only elected institution- it was the combined effort of its educated citizens with a high level of cultural tolerance and a well-developed civic institution, that helped the nation to overcome one of its difficult times.
When Tunisia had a successful democratic run, what went wrong and where it was thrown out at the brink of such political instability?
The Economic Hardships
Many historians have explained that why the aftermath of Tunisia is not exactly like what has been expected.
The social fabric of its society is torn in many ways.
There is a not so clear divide between the supporters of the old regime and the supporters of the revolution.
Many residents are not satisfied with their condition; they haven’t experienced marked improvement in their social and economic situation and feel that all the sacrifices and deaths were perhaps in vain.
This economic divide has led to stagnation.
The elected government has tried to develop monetary policy, but none has attempted to risk sweeping the economic reforms.
And this has led to grievances among the ordinary citizens; they continue to view that their elected government is doing nothing for their welfare.
As a result, the majority of the population has exerted strong support towards their president’s action, which has fulfilled their demands for overthrowing the incompetent Islamist Ennahda party government.
The Unanswered Questions
What we can experience is a situation of joy and scepticism.
These emotions are linked to two ideologies- one who support the president and another who calls it a coup.
And both these ideologies have been debated extensively, but the results can’t be predicted.
At the end of the day, what the nation is facing is complete political turmoil.
The political administration has been dissolved, and its people are on the streets- protesting and celebrating.
But the real question awaits an answer- what next? Will, the people, get a solution for their economic hardship, or should they be ready to experience something much worse than the present?
This all depends on how sooner the president comes up with a new election announcement and how preferably the new administration takes up the challenges.
Until then, it’s all about the debates, protests, and a situation of changing world scenarios.