Tunisia: An Ongoing Battle for Democracy

This post is part of our special coverage of Tunisia Revolution 2011.

It has been almost a month since former Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has fled the country and took refuge in Saudi Arabia, amid a series of protests all over the North African country calling for his departure. For Tunisians, however, the fight is not over yet and getting rid of the dictator does not mean that the dictatorship is gone. Indeed, Tunisians often describe the 23-year-old repressive regime of Ben Ali as an octopus which its head was successfully cut but not its arms.

A protest for the dissolution of the RCD. Photo byWassim Ben Rhouma

Ever since the fall of Ben Ali’s regime, Tunisians have protested for the dissolution of the so hated former ruling party the RCD (Le Rassemblement Constitutionnel Démocratique), which has been associated with corruption, oppression, dictatorship and, viewed as a threat to the transition towards democracy. The RCD is also accused of spreading chaos and destabilizing the country following the end of Ben Ali’s rule. Then, it's quite normal that the Tunisian people has too much contempt for the RCD and yearns for cutting all ties with the past.

Abdallah Belakhoua (@Abdallah__B) calls for Tunisians to stay united and focus on one major goal which is the dissolution of the RCD:

Les vieux clowns de l'RCD veulent nous voir désunis et égoïstes, pour qu'on les oublient, on doit rester UNIS et FORT #tunisie

The old clowns of the RCD want to see us disunited and selfish and therefore forget about them. We should remain UNITED and STRONG.

He adds:

J'apel tous les tun à NE PAS dériver vers les demandes scindés; ils veul nous fair oublier notr prncpal objctif : ENTERRER l'RCD #sidibouzid

A call for all Tunisians: do not be driven towards splitting needs, they want us to let go of our main goal: burying the RCD.

Abdrabba Yassine, a Tunisian software engineer, raises a major question: How far are RCD members ready to abandon their privileges in favour of the revolution in Tunisia?

هل من السهل أن يقبل أناس كانت لهم سلطات غير محدودة و مداخيل غير محصورة أن يتخلوا عن تلك المتيازات ببساطة #tunisie #rcd #degage

Is it easy for those who enjoyed unlimited powers and wages to simply abandon those privileges?

Although the current Prime Minister, Mohammed Ghannouchi left the the RCD and his political career is not tainted with corruption, he has been criticised and accused of allegiance to Tunisia's most hated party.

Using some harsh words, Alyssa, a Tunisian blogger does not hide her contempt for PM Mohammed Ghannouchi:

Monsieur Mohammed Ghannouchi, je ne vous aime pas, je ne vous ai jamais apprécié et cela ne risque pas de changer. Je ne souhaite pas vous connaitre davantage, dans l’espoir de déceler chez vous quelque vertu cachée, car vous êtes malheureusement affublé d’un défaut majeur : la lâcheté.

Mr. Mohammed Ghannouchi, I don't like you, I have never appreciated you and I'm afraid that this will never change. I don't hope to know you any more wishing to detect a quality in you, because unfortunately, you have a major flaw: cowardliness.

Khem (@TunisianCityzen) tweets:

Qui est il Ghannouchi pr donner au peuple tunisien des lecons de démocratie ?? Lui qui a soutenu la dictature pdant 13ans !!!

Who does Ghannouchi think he is to give lessons in democracy for the Tunisian people and he's the one who supported the dictatorship for 13 years.

Houssem HAJLAOUI, a Tunisian blogger wrote an article entitled: “These are the enemies of the revolution, and the dream of a free Tunisia”.

For him, the RCD and the interim government are among these enemies.

He says:

التجمّع الدستوري الديموقراطي

نعم هو معلّق النشاط و حلّه مسألة وقت ولكن خلاياه السرطانيّة منتشرة في كل مكان. و ما دام الرأي العام في تونس لا يعلم بدقّة تقدّم عمل لجنة التحقيق في الفساد، فمن المنطقي اعتبار التجمّع الدستوري الديموقراطي خطرا قائما على الثّورة و على مستقبل المشروع الديموقراطي في تونس

It's true that all activities of the RCD are frozen and its dissolution is only a matter of time, but its cancerous cells are everywhere. And as long as the public in Tunisia does not know exactly the progress of the commission of inquiry on corruption, it is logical to consider the RCD a real danger on the revolution and on the future of the democratic project in Tunisia.

He adds:

الحكومة المؤقّتة
لا يمكنني أن أصفها بعدوّة الثورة لأنّني أجهل نواياها و لكن الوقت الذي تضيّعه و ضلوعها في سياسة التهميش و بعض الخطوات التي قامت بها تجعل مراقبتها و المحافظة على ضغط قار عليها أمر حتمي
The interim government:
I can't describe it as an enemy of the revolution because I'm not aware of its intentions. However, the interim government is wasting time, involved in a policy of marginalisation and some of the steps it took were not right. So, it's inevitable to supervise it and keep putting pressure on it.

This post is part of our special coverage of Tunisia Revolution 2011.


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