Fear and nostalgia as Tunisia transitions to democracy

TN_VotersMiddle East Eye – Tunis, Tunisia: Several days before the Tunisian presidential elections, 26-year-old Ameni Hammami was sitting with a group of friends at a café in one of Tunis’ upscale neighbourhoods discussing candidates. Reflecting on what has changed since Tunisia’s revolution, Hammami noted that four years ago, they would not be having this conversation. “We would switch off our mobiles,” she said with a laugh, out of fear that the government would listen in on what they were saying through their phones.

On Sunday, 23 November, Tunisians participated in the first free presidential elections in the country’s history. According to official results released on Wednesday, Beji Caid Essebsi received 39.5 percent of the vote with interim president, Moncef Marzouki coming in second place with 33.4 percent. The two frontrunners, out of a field of 27 candidates, will now face each other in a run-off election to be held next month.

Coming a month after successful parliamentary elections, the international community is celebrating the vote as the final step in Tunisia’s transition to democracy. But, as the past weighed heavily on the first round of presidential voting, many Tunisians are less convinced that their country has crossed the threshold and see much more work that needs to be done to secure the new system…

– See more at: http://www.middleeasteye.net/in-depth/features/fear-and-nostalgia-tunisia-transitions-democracy-1050915497#sthash.mh9RzdPm.dpuf

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