Tunisia’s presidential election on Sunday is set to worsen the UAE-led anti-revolution coalition’s project to fight democracy and prevent public freedoms under Arab Spring demands.
Tunisians are going to the polls today to elect a new president in an early election imposed by the departure of President Beji Caid Essebsi in July.
In Tunisia, the cradle of the Arab Spring revolutions, this vote is of historic significance as a qualitative turning point towards what the literature of democratization calls the consolidation of democracy, which implies the establishment of a state of institutions that promote the separation of powers, the peaceful rotation of power and the rule of law. Tunisia is slowly approaching him.
In spite of the priority given to the internal context in the debates accompanying these elections, especially in relation to the performance of the Tunisian elites, and the ways in which the average citizen absorbed and interacted with this event, the regional context of this benefit, which takes place amid significant transformations, cannot be overlooked. Its most striking feature may be a second wave of the Arab Spring that is more mature and capable of overcoming the constraints that often accompany transitions, as the lessons of what is happening in Sudan and Algeria confirm.
If the Algerian movement has not succeeded until now in producing a political force that reshapes the demands of the street in a clear program that confronts the intransigence of the military establishment, the Sudanese opposition coalition has succeeded in diverging the popular movement towards another horizon, after a difficult agreement with the junta. This means that Sudan can succeed in bringing about a quiet and gradual transition to democracy.
The Sudanese and Algerian movements have made the UAE-led counterrevolution even more disturbing than the Tunisian merit. Their success in consolidating the young Tunisian democracy will contribute, albeit indirectly, to making the Algerian street more determined to proceed to extract its legitimate demands.
It is a growing concern in the capitals of the counterrevolution of a new dynamic in the region that benefits from the mistakes of the first wave of the Arab Spring. Libya is one of the main castles on which the counterrevolution is betting to halt this dynamic, thus limiting the Tunisian experience to a narrow angle, especially as political confusion continues in Algeria.
In this context, it highlights the significance of Abu Dhabi to host a press conference for Ahmed al-Mesmari, spokesman for the militia of Khalifa Haftar, in a desperate attempt to mobilize regional support for these forces, after the defeats suffered in recent confrontations with the forces of the Government of National Accord.
In the sense that instability in Libya is a strategic choice for the Saudi-UAE-Egyptian alliance, this would provide a regressive impetus for the Tunisian experience, which would find itself surrounded by a regional anti-democratic environment.
The defeat or at least the retreat of Haftar’s forces, the success of the government of Abdallah Hamdouk in Sudan in overcoming the contradictions of the transitional period and the success of the Algerian movement in producing a balanced political force represented by all this will not only be a painful blow to the axis of the counterrevolution, but it will usher in the transition of the Tunisian experience to a different phase.
It is fair to say that had it not been for the anti-democratic environment in the region, especially after the military coup in Egypt (2013), the gains of this experience would have been more apparent.
The axis of counter-revolutions led by the UAE over the past years has failed to make a real breakthrough in the Tunisian landscape, despite the possibilities it has.
The UAE, through its financial and media influences, played a major role in shaping a political and media discourse parallel to the skepticism of the revolution and its aspirations. It supported anti-revolutionary forces, sought to weaken Ennahdha, remove it from the political equation, and disturb the Tunisian decision, all in an attempt to build a “political mood”. General “opens the way for the intervention of the army and the acceptance of Tunisian democracy in its infancy, in a repetition of the Egyptian scenario.
The Tunisian elections are at the heart of the plans of the UAE-led counterrevolution axis, which is facing a real dilemma in Yemen and Libya, and its success will certainly enhance the regional influence of Tunisian democracy and widen its margins of influence in the region. The scenes in Sudan and Algeria.