Even before the conflict in Ukraine, the liberal state model looked much less attractive for the broader Middle East region than it had only a decade earlier, at the height of the Arab Spring. The failures of Western efforts in Iraq, Libya, and above all in Afghanistan, where there had been the greatest international attempt to create a state that could combine local traditions and liberal ideals, contributed to this shift in sentiment.
The MED This Week newsletter provides expert analysis and informed insights on the most significant developments in the MENA region, bringing together unique opinions on the topic and reliable foresight on future scenarios. Today, we turn the spotlight on the rising inflation rates that many countries in the region are currently experiencing.
All’indomani del referendum del 25 luglio la Tunisia si è dotata di una nuova Costituzione che ha cambiato il sistema politico del paese e formalizzato il graduale processo di accentramento dei poteri condotto dal presidente Kaïs Saïed a partire dal suo colpo di mano del 25 luglio 2021. Con la prospettiva delle elezioni legislative in programma il prossimo 17 dicembre, la Tunisia continua ad attraversare una congiuntura estremamente delicata.
In questo nuovo episodio, Francesco Rocchetti, Segretario Generale ISPI, e Silvia Boccardi, giornalista di Will, insieme a Lorenzo Fruganti, analista dell’area Mediterranea dell’ISPI, raccontano quello che sta succedendo in Tunisia dove il presidente Kais Saied ha chiesto ai cittadini di votare un controverso referendum costituzionale che aumenterà a i suoi poteri.
Al referendum vince il Sì per la nuova Costituzione. La Tunisia va verso l’iper-presidenzialismo voluto da Kais Saied, ma per molti la deriva autoritaria è a un passo
Where is Tunisia heading, or, better yet, what is the outcome President Kais Saïed wishes to achieve with the founding of a so-called “new Republic”? Will the country grow into an innovative and reliable democracy or, instead, an autocracy disguised as a formally democratic regime? Saïed’s authoritarian measures over the past twelve months are not promising.
Over the past decade, Tunisia has been known as the sole “Arab Spring” success story, considering its steady path towards democratisation. Regrettably, it has also been among the MENA countries most exposed to homegrown jihadist radicalisation and domestic terrorism.
Fundamental shifts in the Gulf monarchies’ foreign and domestic policymaking bear direct implications for their engagement in Tunisia. As a consequence, Tunis no longer plays a relevant role in the Gulf’s political-economic-security nexus. Despite Saudi Arabia’s and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s public support for President Kais Saïed and his authoritarian bent, the Gulf’s focus has shifted from North Africa toward other hotspots in order to preserve power projection in times of rising global multipolarism.
In the run-up to the referendum on July 25th in which Tunisians will be called upon to approve (or reject) President Kais Saïed’s top-down new constitutional draft, attacks against the leading members of the Muslim-oriented Ennahda party have intensified.
On July 25th, exactly a year after President Kais Saïed’s power grab, Tunisians will take to the polls to vote in a referendum on a new constitution. The proposed national charter will likely expand the President’s powers, raising questions over the country’s future institutional architecture and checks and balances system.
When Kais Saïed was elected President of the Republic of Tunisia in 2019, he had just run his campaign on a programme of institutional reform aimed at solving, once and for all, the political crisis that the country is still going through.
Tunisia’s 2011-2021 decade can be summarised as follows: the introduction of democracy, the fall of a semi-socialist state, the deterioration of citizens’ economic conditions, the rise (and fall) of terrorism, and the Covid-19 pandemic. People, however, tend to forget about democracy and focus only on the negative aspects. As such, a new narrative is gaining ground: the crisis started in January 2011, when demonstrations against President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali intensified -and never ended.