World, Africa

Tunisia polls to ignite new Arab Spring: Analysts

Tunisia was birthplace of Arab Spring revolutions in 2011

Mohammad Sheikh Yousef   | 22.10.2019
Tunisia polls to ignite new Arab Spring: Analysts Kais Saied

ISTANBUL

Recent presidential and parliamentary elections in Tunisia have revived hopes in the Arab world for a second wave of the Arab Spring for achieving a democratic transition and greater political freedom, analysts believe. 

Tunisians elected former law professor Kais Saied as president earlier this month to replace the country's first freely elected President Beji Caid Essebsi, who died last July.

The moderate Ennahda movement also swept the country's parliamentary election on Oct. 6, winning 52 seats of the 217-member parliament.

"Tunisia's experience is pioneering and inspirational to the Arab peoples," Egyptian opposition leader Ayman Nour told Anadolu Agency.

"The Tunisian revolution was the birthplace of the first wave of the Arab Spring and was the spark for freedom and revolution for the Arab peoples," he said.

Tunisia was the birthplace of the Arab Spring revolutions that swept the leaders of several Arab countries from power in 2011.

Nour said Tunisians were "wiser" in dealing with political and ideological differences in the post-revolution era.

"Tunisia has absorbed all parties during democratic transition from 2011 until 2014 when it managed to defeat the counter-revolution," he said.

New icon

Nour described the new Tunisian president as a "new revolutionary icon".

"Saied represents a new revolutionary icon, whose election coincided with the new wave of the Arab Spring, which started in Algeria and Sudan," he said.

Popular protests in Algeria and Sudan have forced their long-serving presidents to step down earlier this year.

"Tunisia will be again the spark of the new wave [of Arab Spring]," Nour said.

"The victory of the Arab Spring and revolution starts again in Tunisia," he said. "It will not stop there, but will move on to other countries that saw popular protests as Egypt, Algeria and Sudan."

"The success of the democratic transition in Tunisia will be a new hope for the peoples to enforce their will and elect their leaders in free and transparent elections."

The Egyptian opposition leader said that the first wave of the Arab Spring was forced by counter-revolutions.

"But the victory of [the revolution] in Tunisia, the failure of the coup in Libya, the victory of the popular will in Algeria and Sudan and the start of popular protests in Egypt will revive the hope among the free people around the whole world," he said.

Inspirational

Yemeni political analyst Nabil Albokairy opines that the successful democratic transition in Tunisia reflects the success of the Tunisian revolution.

"The success of the democratic choice shows that the peaceful democratic transition is the people's choice," he told Anadolu Agency.

He said the successful Tunisian experience "will be an inspiring example for the peoples to keep their hope for change".

"The Tunisian success will boost demands for political transition that will move to countries where transitions encountered setbacks," he said.

Ammar Kahf, the director of the Omran Center for Strategic Studies, said the Tunisian transition raises many hopes in the Arab world.

"There is a wave of optimism and hope in all Arab countries," he said.

Kahf, however, warned that the high hopes for change "could turn into desperation in countries where transition is blocked such as Libya, Egypt, Yemen and Syria".

"However, Tunisia remains a beacon on the road and gives hope that the revolutionary movement will start to make a major change on the long run," he said.


*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this article from Ankara

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