THE VIEW: JULY 2013

When asked to give my opinion on the future of Tunisia, I feel compelled to deliver a message of hope, especially after we have now witnessed the drafting of a new constitution, which will prevent the return of dictatorship and provide a comprehensive Bill of Rights. Not everyone agrees, from the other side complaints of continuing social strife, broken promises, and confusion over the feasibility of the new Constitution are legion. All these concerns are legitimate since diversity is good, homogeneity is bad.

We all agree, regardless of our political orientations and ideologies, that any transition is inherently destabilising and frought with difficulties. This destabilisation is proof our exiting governing institutions are malfunctioning and unlikely to cope with the new changes.

Tunisians are eager to see their transitional government is working hard to address serious issues like unemployment, which hovers around 17%, establish security, launch economic recovery, and institute a thorough reform of the judiciary and penal system. The real challenge in Tunisia is how to craft a body politic whose institutions are strong enough to stand the test of time. That is why the current transitional government headed by Ali Laarayed walks a tightrope between stability and reform. Another challenge is ideological polarisation, this tussle may lead the disparate political factions to argue over secondary issues, which should not worry us unduly since politics, as Max Weber put it, “means conflict.”

The success of Tunisia in realising the goals of its revolution will only rekindle the torch of hope for other Arab countries seeking change, and show the sacrifices and patience of Tunisians has been rewarded. All Tunisians should realise that none but ourselves can craft a promising future for our country. We should not succumb to doubt. Tunisians, Egyptian, and Libyans alike have done what is the equivalent in mountaineering terms of scaling Everest by toppling their ruthless dictators, and after this they should not have big troubles with lower hills. Finally, we ask only that God’s grace shines upon us.

Imed Lassoued, Bouficha. Tunisia