Building A Democracy in Tunisia

Redefining Conservative Philosophy

The Legacy of Habib Bourguiba

Introduction

On Dec. 2010, Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26-year-old street fruit vendor, lit himself on fire in protest in Tunisia. His desperate act of protest sparked immediate popular resistance and mobilizations across the Middle East and North Africa. On Jan. 14 of 2011, after massive protests and violence, then-Tunisian president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, stepped down after 23 years in power. Protests followed: Egypt on Jan. 25; Yemen on Jan. 27; Bahrain on Feb. 14; Libya on Feb. 15; and Syria on Mar. 15. That same year, regimes fell: Egypt’s Mubarak handed power to the military on Feb. 11; Libya’s Gaddafi was killed on Oct. 20; Yemen’s Saleh signed a power-transfer agreement on Nov. 23.[1] Yet, only Tunisia with its stable multiparty Parliament appear on course towards pluralist democracy. Libya and Yemen’s protests toppled their regimes, but created a power vacuum that drew in…

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