Tunisia: From Revolution to Governance

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Today, Tunisia’s Parliament meets to hold a vote of confidence in the new unity government of Prime Minister Youssef Chahed. In a moment that seems to encapsulate the democratic ideals of the 2011 Tunisian Revolution, Chahed will present the parliament with one of the most diverse cabinets in the country’s history. Comprised of eight women and 14 “youth” ministers, the cabinet will also draw members from several opposition parties, including the Islamist Ennahda Party.

In many ways, this underscores how far Tunisia’s fragile democratic transition has come, especially compared to the rest of the region. In countries like Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and Syria, the democratic uprisings of the so-called “Arab Spring” have either relapsed into authoritarianism or devolved into civil conflict. Tunisia, on the other hand, has held free and fair elections, drafted and ratified a uniquely liberal and democratic constitution, and completed peaceful power transitions between ideological opponents.

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