Understanding Ennahda’s Victory in Tunisia

While no fewer than 80 political parties participated, Hizb Ennahda, a once-banned Islamist party, has emerged as the major winner in Tunisia’s first election since the ouster early this year of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Ennahda’s dominance — winning roughly 43 percent of the seats in Tunisia’s new Constituent Assembly — can best be explained by what Christopher Alexander, a leading Tunisia scholar and political scientist at Davidson College in North Carolina, calls the “cultural authenticity vote.” Alexander told Trend Lines on Wednesday that “there are Tunisians who frankly are not that religious, but supported Ennahda because they […]

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