In Context: Tunisia’s Ennahda Agrees to Transfer Power

In Context: Tunisia’s Ennahda Agrees to Transfer Power

Over the weekend, Tunisia's Islamist governing party, Ennahda, formally agreed to relinquish power in favor of a caretaker government that will supervise new elections.

According to Sherelle Jacobs, Tunisia has managed to avoid the chaos of Egypt's anti-Islamist collapse in large part because Ennahda has been willing to compromise:

Ennahda has avoided alienating secularists and liberals on the same scale as the Muslim Brotherhood during precarious political moments. For example, tensions between Tunisian secularists and Islamists soared overnight following the assassination of Tunisia’s secular opposition leader, Chokri Belaid, in February. The then-prime minister, Hamadi Jebali, immediately responded with political concessions. He tried to form a neutral technocratic government to appease non-Islamists.

Tunisia is hardly trouble-free, but, as Anthony Dworkin writes, its key actors actors have largely refrained from escalating their disputes beyond the boundaries of politics:

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