Scenarios for a New Tunisian Revolution

As Tunisians celebrate the eleventh anniversary of the resignation of the former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, speculation is mounting about the possibility of a second revolution in the country. With the continuing deterioration of living conditions, poverty and unemployment, amid a state of political and governmental instability, reflected negatively on the Tunisian youth, an uprising might become likely.

According to the Tunisian National Institute of Statistics, the ratio of unemployed people in the country reached 16.2% in the third quarter of 2020, while the poverty rate reached 25.8%.

Governmental and Parliamentary Paralysis

Jumaa Belmubarak, a political analyst, says that there is a state of complete governmental and parliamentary paralysis in Tunisia, pointing out that the state of conflict over power and authority is greatly intensified among the ruling institutions, affecting the Tunisian government’s ability to make crucial and differential decisions with an impact on the lives of Tunisians.

It is noteworthy that, in less than a year, two successive governments were formed in Tunisia, the first was headed by Elias Fakhfakh, the second was headed by Hisham El Mechichi.

Blemubarak notes that the focus of the parliamentary blocs on the issue of government formation and the divergence of views led them away from the concerns of Tunisian youth and their problems related to work, the future and education. He believes that the parties were preoccupied with their disagreements and forgot the Tunisian people’s struggles with life’s difficulties.

A few days ago, Tunisian sources revealed that the „Ennahda Movement“ and the „Heart of Tunisia“ were pressuring the Prime Minister, Hicham El-Mechichi, to remove the ministers affiliated with the President of the Republic, Qais Saeed, in a prospective cabinet reshuffle.

Regarding the aforementioned amendment, the head of the „Reform Bloc“ in the Tunisian Parliament, Hassouna Nassifi, revealed that this amendment may include 12 ministerial portfolios. “This change may include seven ministries. Today we have vacancies in three ministries, which are the Interior, Environment and Culture. It includes eight or even 12 ministries in general,” he added.

General Failure Condition.. Solutions Absent

In his analysis on the role of the political crisis in the poor living conditions, Blembark goes to warn of the possibility of a new revolution, especially since the current conditions are similar to what the country witnessed before the outbreak of the revolution in late 2010, he said.

It is noteworthy that a 30-year-old man from the city of Kasserine set himself on fire a few days ago, in protest against the poor living conditions of his family, which brought back to the minds the suicide of the young Mohamed Bouazizi, the then turning-point of the revolt against President Ben Ali.

Blembark’s warnings are also raised against an exploding situation, with the absence of development solutions and decisions. He points out that all what is circulated in the parliament is only political aspects away from development and economic problems.

In the same context, Tunisian journalist Habib Mubaraki says: “Tunisia today is at a crossroads. It is neither able to withstand the intransigence that politicians fight, nor is it able to heal its wounds to rise from the specter of the static economic crisis.  It has not been budged from excessive appeasement and disruption of production in more than one place, according to what he published in Al-Arab newspaper.

In addition, Mubaraki considers that Tunisians were the victims of polemics, poor political performance, intolerance of opinion and other reprehensible ideologies that ruled the teenage political class in Tunisia, pointing out that the ball is now in the people’s court, although he is shackled by various situations that impede his movement.

Commenting on the expectations of the outbreak of the revolution in Tunisia, Hussain Bin Younis, an economic analyst, points out that the economic data and statistics confirm that the country is heading towards further explosion, especially as it is in a deteriorating graphical movement since 2015 to 2020, which reflects a state of inability to solve Tunisia’s problems.

According to the figures of the National Institute of Statistics, the total number of unemployed people in 2015 reached 420 thousand, and in 2016 it increased to 629.6 thousand, while in 2018 the number increased to 644.9 thousand, to record a slight decrease in 2019, and then it reached 637.7 thousand unemployed.

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