The ‘Spark’ That Started it All
"الشعب يريد إسقاط النظام = The people want to bring down the regime"
Tunisia's “Jasmine Revolution” is the first popular uprising to topple an established government in the Middle East and North Africa since the Iranian revolution of 1979; it’s also the spark that ignited and inspired other Revolutions in the region. It unfolded in three phases: First, on December 17, 2011, a young Tunisian street vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi, set himself on fire in hopelessness and to protest his treatment at the hands of the authorities. Demonstrations broke out in his rural hometown followed by protests in other areas of the country. A brutal security crackdown followed, reported in chocking details by online social media. Second, when protests reached the capital, Tunis, the government responded with even more brutality, arresting demonstrators, activists, and shutting down the Internet. Lastly, the President, Zine el-Abedin Ben Ali, shuffled his cabinet and promised to create 300,000 jobs, but it was too late; protesters now just wanted the regime to fall and its President stripped of any power. On January 14, Ben Ali and his family fled the country taking refuge in Saudi Arabia. This act marked the end of one of the Arab world's most repressive regimes. It was a victory for people power and perhaps the first time ever in history that an Arab dictator has been removed by a revolution rather than a coup d’Etat.
The campaign for the first elections born of the revolts that swept the Middle East began in Tunisia on Saturday, 1 October. It features 81 political parties (out of more than 115 recognized parties) competing in the elections, making up 785 electoral lists; another 676 lists are composed of independent candidates. They’re competing for 217 seats. It is expected that those elected to a provisional constituent assembly will then have a year to write a constitution outlining how Tunisians will govern themselves before elections for a regular parliament will be held.
♦Tunisian Elections, 2011 (Cornell)
♦IFES Election Guide. Tunisia. Democracy assistance & elections news from the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening (CEPPS) / International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES).
Voters Online Guides (about Candidates and Parties) "Aims to Help Voters Understand Parties, Tunisia's best fixers." A new interactive platform for voters to better know the political parties running for the elections. The web site is designed to address the questions of whom to vote for, why, and how to tell the difference between Tunisia’s numerous political parties.
Elections 2011 Ajidoo.com Programs of leading parties.
Nchoof.org, launched on Sunday (October 2nd), enables Tunisians to present their complaints of malpractice during the electoral campaign and vote counting. The Citizenship Alliance for Elections Monitoring, which comprises associations “My Voice”, “Political Awareness” and Internet Society Tunisie (ISOC), developed the initiative.
IkhtiarTounes New Tool for Undecided Voters
* National Constituent Assembly openin session 22 November, 2011 / المجلس الوطني التأسيسي يفتتح أولى جلساته - تونس - FRANCE 24 تشرين الثاني / 22 (نوفمبر) 2011
*The Tunisian Independent High Authority for the Elections officially announces the final results (Official Announcement/Election Results). The Islamist party Ennahda obtains 41,47 %, securing 89 seats in the 217-member constituent assembly. Furthermore, the Congress for the Republic receives 29 seats, Ettakattol 20 seats and the Progressive Democratic Party 16 seats. One independent list, the People's Petition for Justice, Liberty and Development, obtains 26 seats. The turnout is 86,1%.
*The same day, a presidential decree (Decree 3576-2011) convokes the constituent assembly to hold its first session on November 2011.
*22 November 2011, The Constituent Assembly holds its first session and elects Mustapha Ben Jaafar, the President of the Progressive Democratic Party, as President of the Assembly. Mr. Ben Jafar’s party ranked fourth in the election, gaining 19 out of the 217 seats of the Constituent Assembly. His election is part of a coalition agreement, signed on 21 November 2011, between his political party, the Islamist moderate party Ennahda, and the Congress for the Republic.
*Tunisia’s new assembly holds “historic” first session Tunisia’s ‘Second Republic’ تونس الجمهورية الثانية
*Tunisia Elects New Interim President (December 12, 2011)
*Final report on the Tunisian National Constituent Assembly elections : October 23, 2011. Washington, DC : National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, 2011. 32 p., PDF file. On oct. 23, 2011, tunisians voted in an election that held profound consequences for the future of their country and the broader region. Nine months after toppling an authoritarian leader and in a country with little democratic experience, citizens waited for hours in line at polling stations to elect members of a constituent assembly that would be tasked with forming a new interim government and writing a new constitution.
*Democracy, women’s rights, and public opinion in Tunisia / Robert Brym & Robert Andersen. The Arab Spring demonstrated that public opinion can powerfully affect the region’s political life. Tunisia is particularly important in this regard; it is the Arab country where democracy has taken firmest root and is therefore of enormous geopolitical significance insofar as it can serve as a model for other countries in the region. This article assesses the state of Tunisian democracy using data from a 2015 survey of 1580 Tunisian adults.
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Chronology of the Tunisian Revolution Text & Audiovisuals (Cornell List)
Revolution in cyberspace: Internet, Social Media, etc.
The interim government after 14 January, 2011
Influence of Spread of the revolution
“Arrays of Egyptian and Tunisian Everyday Worlds. An update on the project ‘In 2016—How it felt to live in the Arab World five years after the “Arab Spring”’. Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies 17 (2017): 455-508 (open access).