Optimism for Tunisia
"The explosion of newfound freedoms since President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia on January 14 after a three-week uprising is something no one can ever take away from Tunisians. If there is any consensus, it is that the hard-won freedom of expression is inviolable...
"Despite continuing protests and efforts by Ben Ali loyalists to disrupt the democratic process, it is nevertheless possible to be optimistic. In principle, everything is still on track.
"The roadmap for moving towards a truly open and democratic system is sound. El-Sebsi and the political reform commission have gained widespread acceptance, and army generals with no political ambitions are guaranteeing overall security and keeping a close eye on the feared police and intelligence agencies.
"Tunisians are rapidly developing a democratic culture that will enable them to tackle four major challenges after the October 23 election for a constitutional assembly – forging a coalition of several parties to form Tunisia’s first truly legitimate government, reforming the police and judiciary, creating jobs for young people and reducing the economic inequalities between different regions; and launching a process of transitional justice that will see human rights abusers and corrupt individuals prosecuted.
"The revolution in Tunisia did not end when Ben Ali fled. It has been continuing slowly since then, and will receive a boost after October 23."
(Crossposted to American Footprints)