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For the eighth time in 11 years, voters have been called to the ballot box to weigh in on Tunisia’s future. Over the past decade, Tunisians have chosen new presidents, fresh parliaments and local representatives in peaceful elections. But last week’s referendum, which approved a new constitution, may bring an end to that civic process.

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Last week, a dozen years after the start of the Arab Spring, Tunisia held a referendum that sealed the fate of its democratic experiment. The vote confirmed that the euphoria of those heady days—the ardent belief that change was on the horizon—was not enough to overcome the obstacles to democratization.

A group of Iranians listen to then-President Hassan Rouhani during a ceremony marking the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, Tehran, Iran, Feb. 11, 2019 (AP photo by Vahid Salemi).

The struggle between Iran and Saudi Arabia has insinuated itself into nearly every regional issue, fracturing international alliances and sustaining wars across the region, while raising fears of a direct conflict between the two powers. Meanwhile, the region is rife with ongoing conflicts, and the long-simmering dispute between Israel and Palestine continues to flare up periodically.