Tunisia: concerns over security and economy as election nears

Tunisia: concerns over security and economy as election nears
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Tunisia is in the final days of campaigning ahead of Sunday’s (26 October) parliamentary election – a vote that aims to complete the north African country’s transition to democracy.

It has been almost four years since the revolt that ousted Zein El-Abidine Ben Ali and Tunisia became known as “the cradle of the Arab Spring.”

Since then, though, political instability and a tanking economy have left many Tunisians unsure where the country is headed.

“There’s a despondency after these three years of seeing rulers lying, not keeping their word, not doing – or even trying to do – what they promised,” said Chawki Gaddes, Senior lecturer in Public Law at Tunis University.

“Especially, in this dire economic situation, (we) hear about the remuneration they receive, the money around politics. All this leads Tunisians to have a bad perception of what democracy is,” Gaddes continued.

Security is being stepped up across Tunisia for the election – which al-Qaeda linked militants have threatened to disrupt.

On Friday (24 October), security forces killed six people after a standoff with an Islamist militant group on the outskirts of the capital, Tunis.

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