Tunisia after the elections: model or muddle?

How should the results of the recent Tunisian elections be interpreted?   


Anthony Dworkin, Senior Policy Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme, ECFR

Larbi Sadiki, Associate Professor of International Relations and Democratization, Qatar University

Michael Willis, University Research Lecturer and King Mohamed VI Fellow in Moroccan and Mediterranean Studies, Oxford University


Chaired by

Mattia Toaldo, Policy Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme, ECFR

Tunisia's first regular parliamentary elections since its 2011 revolution saw a victory for the secular-nationalist Nidaa Tounes party with the Islamist Ennahda party in second place. The peaceful conduct of the elections was a major step forward for democracy in Tunisia and an inspiring example at a time of chaos and turbulence in the region. But ​how should the results be interpreted? What is the country's new government likely to look like? What challenges will it face, and how is it likely to respond? What does the result mean for Ennahda, which led Tunisia's government until the beginning of this year? Finally, what impact will the election have in the wider Middle East and North Africa?

Anthony Dworkin is a senior policy fellow at ECFR, where he leads the organisation’s work in the area of human rights, democracy, and justice. Since 2011, he has followed political developments in North Africa after the Arab uprisings, with a particular focus on Egypt and Tunisia. His most recent publication for ECFR was: Tunisia’s elections and the consolidation of democracy.

Larbi Sadiki is a Tunisian writer, political scientist and an Associate Professor of International Relations and Democratization at Qatar University. He was formerly a Professor at Exeter University and a scholar at the Carnegie Middle East Center. Sadiki's writing focuses on the democratization of the Arab World as well as human rights studies and dialogue between the Western and Islamic civilizations. 

Michael Willis is a university research lecturer and King Mohamed VI Fellow in Moroccan and Mediterranean Studies at Oxford University. He is currently working on a sole authored book on the comparative politics of Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. Michael has recently returned from Tunisia after being there for the elections.

Mattia Toaldo is a policy fellow at ECFR and has focused on events in Libya and the wider North Africa region.