Tunisians were the first in the region to oust a long-time dictator, one who had ruled the country for twenty-three years. It was a genuine popular revolution, started without a leader, and was nonpolitical, nonideological, and nonreligious. After toppling President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s regime, new political parties were established and free and fair multiparty elections were held, a giant step forward in the march toward democracy. The economy continues to be a deep source of discontent, however. Youth blame the government’s inaction for continued unemployment. The Ennahda-led coalition needs to get the right mix of resources to make progress in reducing unemployment. Tunisians cannot do it alone; external assistance is badly needed.
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Copyright 2012 by Mediterranean Affairs, Inc.