Sep 30 2011

Mark Levine on Tunisia: The First Revolution of the Arab Spring Faces Elections

Feature Stories | Published 30 Sep 2011, 10:06 am | Comments Off on Mark Levine on Tunisia: The First Revolution of the Arab Spring Faces Elections -

Print this Page Print this Page |

Click “listen to this segment” to hear an extended interview with Mark Levine.

The first country to overthrow its ruler, setting off the Arab Spring revolts, is facing the first test of its revolution. Tunisia will hold elections on October 23rd, to pick an Assembly that will write a new Constitution. Tunisia’s long-time ruler Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was overthrown after more than two decades in power, by a broad grassroots uprising, on January 14 2011. Now, more than a 100 political parties have formed in preparation for the elections which will shape Tunisia’s post-revolution future. In an interview with Associated Press, Tunisian Foreign Minister Mouldi Kefi called the elections “a landmark in the modern history of Tunisia.” Kefi addressed the United Nations General Assembly last week pledging to uphold the principles of the revolution and complete a transition to democracy. Since the fall of Ben Ali, there have been scattered protests and strikes, leading the country’s transitional government to revive the old emergency laws. However, in recent weeks, the unrest has quieted in preparation for the elections. Despite the US’s long standing support for the dictatorial regime that was ousted, President Barack Obama is eager to embrace the new government, with a meeting with Tunisian Prime Minister Beji Caid El Sebsi planned for October 7th. The White House has said Obama will discuss “America’s strong support for Tunisia’s historic transition to democracy, as well as a broad range of bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest.” A delegation of US Congressman headed by California Republican David Drier traveled to Tunisia this week, saying that the Tunisian revolution was a “defeat against Al Qaida” (AP) and announcing the presence of American observers during the elections.

GUEST: Mark Levine, weekly columnist for Al Jazeera English, Professor of History at UC Irvine, author of Heavy Metal Islam: Rock, Resistance, and the Struggle for the Soul of Islam; he just returned from a trip to Tunisia

Find out more about Mark Levine’s work at www.culturejamming.org.

Comments Off on Mark Levine on Tunisia: The First Revolution of the Arab Spring Faces Elections

Comments are closed at this time.