Amid a boycott by Tunisia’s main parties, only 11 percent of voters turned out for legislative elections Saturday. The elections were meant to legitimize President Kais Saied’s efforts to remake Tunisia’s democratic institutions. Instead, the opposition says low turnout indicates he has lost all legitimacy and must resign.
If Iran’s moves over the past couple months are any indication, Turkey’s growing influence in the South Caucasus, especially its alliance with Azerbaijan, has heightened Tehran’s sense of unease. Iran now sees the prospect of an arc of Turkey-aligned states emerging as a powerful Turkic alliance along its northern borders.
The concerns, criticisms and debates at the Qatar World Cup about human rights and other contentious issues served as reminders that sporting events carried out under the banner of national flags will always be susceptible to politicization, no matter how often it is claimed that the athletic arena is off-limits to politics.
Brussels has been rocked this week by the biggest corruption scandal to hit the city in decades, with several people arrested as part of a probe into suspected bribery of European Parliament officials by a Gulf state. Amid all the fevered speculation, the biggest question on the minds of many now is: Who will be next to be implicated?
Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Saudi Arabia last week for a four-day trip that included three summits in Riyadh with a range of Arab leaders. A bilateral strategic agreement signed by Riyadh and Beijing during Xi’s visit signals Saudi Arabia’s determination to diversify its partnerships and China’s growing role in the region.
Tunisian President Kais Saied has steadily chipped away at a decade of democratic progress in the county since consolidating power in July 2021, and one of the rights most under threat is gender equality. Saied has used a variety of tools to give lip service to gender equality in Tunisia, while simultaneously undermining it.
Despite a remarkable nationwide uprising that shows no sign of abating, Iran has not put its external policies on hold. While some onlookers may hope that the internal unrest and growing international isolation will hinder Iran’s troubling policies outside the country, the opposite may unfortunately be more likely.
The first signs of how the inability of established elites to prevent state collapse could generate new forms of popular resistance emerged in Lebanon in 2019, as economic collapse generated a wave of mass protests cutting across class and religious lines. Now, the turmoil in Lebanon may presage similar dynamics in Egypt that could have a much more dramatic global impact.
As the 2022 FIFA World Cup enters its knockout rounds, a subdued atmosphere in Doha increasingly mirrors the waning public debate around geopolitical issues—particularly Qatar’s poor human rights record—that received significant attention in the runup to the World Cup and during the tournament’s first two weeks.