Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Despite the gravity of the situation and instead of working towards unity, party leaders have unfortunately gone in the opposite direction - towards division," he said. "The people are fed up with this situation and can no longer tolerate this wait.

ANC Speaker Mustapha Ben Jaafar

Tunisia constituent assembly suspended pending talks

Monday, April 9, 2012 Wednesday, January 25, 2012 Monday, June 6, 2011 Thursday, March 31, 2011 Wednesday, February 23, 2011 Wednesday, February 9, 2011 Sunday, February 6, 2011 Friday, February 4, 2011 Sunday, January 30, 2011
A lot of Tunisians were annoyed that senior ministers from Mr Ben Ali’s Constitutional Democratic Rally (known by its French initials, RCD) still had top jobs in the new government. Most prominent were the prime minister, Mohammed Ghannouchi, who has been a cabinet minister ever since Mr Ben Ali seized power in a bloodless coup in 1987, and the ministers of finance and interior. As a result, five new ministers walked out of the unity government. The finance and interior ministers are now expected to be fired—but it is unclear whether that will satisfy those who feel the RCD should be completely removed from power. Mr Ghannouchi, a technocrat who is said to be untainted by the corruption rife among the Mr Ben Ali’s relatives, further infuriated many Tunisians by admitting that he had spoken to the former president by telephone since his flight to Saudi Arabia.

“This government is an insult to the revolution,” thunders a senior civil servant at the Central Bank of Tunisia. “It is as if we didn’t rebel. They are taking advantage of a political vacuum to consolidate their position and seize power.” A widely held view is that Mr Ghannouchi and other RCD ministers must at least have winked at the corruption surrounding Mr Ben Ali.
Tunisia’s Upheaval: No one is really in charge
Saturday, January 29, 2011
The oldest of three children, the son of an ambulance driver and a mother who makes spare cash selling olives from the family’s groves, Dhouibi spent one-third of his family’s monthly income of $210 each month for four years to earn a university degree. When the degree failed to land him a job, his parents doubled down and sent him to school for another two years, for a master’s in computer technology.

Now two years on the job market with no job, Dhouibi — polite, earnest, thoughtful, and fluent in three languages — spends his morning with other unemployed high school and college graduates at the stand-up tables in Sidi Bouzid’s Café Charlotte. He nurses a coffee, thanks to the change his mother gives him from her olive sales. He goes home for lunch, visits an Internet cafe in the afternoon, returns home for dinner, sleeps in a room with his brother, and wakes, hopeless, in the morning to do it all again.

“Imagine your life going on like this,” he said at the Café Charlotte, standing over the coffee that was the treat of his day. “Every day the same.”
The Arab World’s Youth Army
After so many years of political stagnation, we were left with choices between the bad and the worse,” said Fadel Shallak, a Lebanese writer and a former government minister. “Now there’s something happening in the Arab world. A collective voice is being heard again. Yearning for Respect, Arabs Find a Voice
Friday, January 21, 2011 Tuesday, January 18, 2011
The fall of authoritarian regimes tends to come as a surprise — a miscalculation by those in power of the scale of popular outrage; of the willingness of the citizenry to defy traditional methods of control; and, most importantly, of the willingness of the security forces to kill their compatriots in defense of the regime. Tunisia, if anything, will have put the likes of Egypt, Jordan and Syria on heightened alert over the dangers posed by widespread economic grievances, making them more likely to act early to defuse such tensions. Egyptian officials over the weekend reportedly spoke of raising subsidies on food prices to ease the burden on the poor, mindful of the danger it posed. And the security forces of Egypt, Jordan and Syria are arguably more aware than their Tunisian counterparts were that they’re sitting atop a powder keg.

Indeed, this week would be an opportune moment for key men in the security forces of the Arab autocracies to seek a pay raise. The key ingredient of last week’s turnabout in Tunisia was the security forces, or a significant part of them, who refused to fire on their fellow citizens to protect the ruling family. Authoritarian regimes are innately vulnerable once economic despair strips citizens of their fear of challenging those in power. When soldiers are sent onto the streets to fire on people they recognize as their neighbors, their loyalty is far from certain. And it was clear that in Tunisia, the officer class was ready to seek a new governing arrangement once the cronyism of the rulers had ignited a popular revolt. That scenario ought to give Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak pause if, as is widely assumed, the 82-year-old autocrat plans to install his son, Gamal, as his successor — a move that would break the authoritarian regime’s tradition of picking its leaders from within the senior ranks of the military.
Tunisia: No Domino Effect, but A U.S. Dilemma Over Arab Democracy
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