13th year of the Jasmine Revolution

13th year of the Jasmine Revolution

Mohamed Bouazizi, a drug dealer who set himself on fire in Tunisia on December 17, 2010, provoked street protests, as a result of which Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, who ruled the country for 23 years, left the country with his family on January 14, 2011.

Bouazizi, a 26-year-old merchant with a college degree, committed suicide after his counter was confiscated by the police and insulted by the authorities, sparking the beginning of what is called the "jasmine revolution" in Tunisia, and the Arab world calls the "Arab spring".

After public demonstrations that lasted until January 14, when Ben Ali and his family fled Tunisia, a new political page opened in the country.

After Ben Ali ruled Tunisia with an iron fist for 23 years, the transition to democracy in the country began rapidly.

In Tunisia, which has successfully taken many steps in the name of democracy, political stability has not been achieved.

Before the Jasmine Revolution celebrated its 10th anniversary, the country's political and economic crisis continued to deepen after the "extraordinary decisions" made by President Case Said, citing political instability on July 25, 2021.

By "emergency decrees" dated July 25, which opened the "presidential" system in the country, President Said froze the work of parliament and lifted the immunity of deputies.

Gathering his strength, Said announced that a referendum on the constitutional amendment would be held on July 25, 2022, and early general elections would be held at the end of 2022. He also announced that Parliament would remain closed until the general election.

While the revolution is celebrated every year on January 14, the day Ben Ali fled the country, Said changed the date of the revolution celebration on December 14, 2021, stating that it was postponed to December 17, when Bouazizi set himself on fire.

Tunisia's transition from dictatorship to democracy

Tunisia was ruled only by founding President Habib Bourguiba and then Ben Ali for 55 years before the Jasmine Revolution after gaining independence from the French colony in March 1956.

Ben Ali, who overthrew Bourguiba, who had ruled the country for almost 32 years, with the help of a "civil coup" on November 7, 1987, saying that Bourguiba was ill, ruled Tunisia alone until he was forced to leave the country in 2011.

After the Jasmine Revolution, which began in December 2010, the Tunisian people took the first step in the transition from dictatorship to democracy.

On October 23, 2011, general elections were held for the "Constituent Assembly", which will take part in drafting a new constitution.

The party of the leader of the Ennahda movement, Rashid al-Ghannouchi, who returned to the country after the Jasmine Revolution, completed the elections as the first party, sending 89 deputies to the 217-seat parliament.

The Constituent Assembly, which was elected by popular vote, completed the work on writing the Constitution, which is one of the most important steps in Tunisia's transition to a democratic system, adopting a new Constitution in January 2014 with the approval of more than 200 deputies.

The power of political parties and a new president in Tunisia

The Ennahda movement, tasked with forming a government after the general elections, formed a 3-party coalition government with the Republican Congress Party and the Takettul Party, in which Hammadi al-Jibali served as Prime Minister.

After the presidential elections held in the Constituent Assembly on December 12, the President of the Republican Congress Party, Munsif al-Marzouki, went down in history as the first Tunisian president elected by the Assembly.

On February 6, 2013, the Secretary General of the left-wing Democratic Patriotic Party, which is in opposition in the country, Shukri Belaid, was killed, and on July 25, on Republic Day, one of the leaders of the opposition Popular Front coalition, Mohammed al-Barahimi, was killed in an armed attack.

After the unsolved murders of politicians, the political divide in the country deepened.

Opposition parties blaming the government for the unsolved murders have called on the public to take to the streets.

The Ennahda movement, unable to withstand the pressure of the opposition, which organized demonstrations throughout the country under the slogan "Before the fall of the Government", decided on March 14, 2013 to dissolve the government in order to reduce tensions in the country.

It was decided that the country would be governed by a technocratic government headed by independent candidate Mehdi Juma, who was temporarily elected until the general election.

Sibsi, the first popularly elected president to take office in Tunisia after the revolution

After the adoption of the new Constitution in January 2014, the center-left Nida Tunis Party became the leading party in the October 2014 elections, winning 85 of the 217 seats.

After the elections, in which the Ennahda movement won 79 seats, Tunisia began a period of deepening political divisions and the coming to power of short-term governments.

After the first presidential elections held on December 21, 2014 in accordance with the new Constitution, El-Badji Qaid al-Sibsi, founder of the Nida Tunis party, became the first Tunisian president elected by direct popular vote after the revolution.

Sibsi, who held numerous positions including presidential adviser, Speaker of Parliament and Minister of Foreign Affairs during Bourguiba's rule, died on July 25, 2019, at the age of 92, while serving as president.

Nobel Peace Prize for the Jasmine Revolution

The Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, consisting of the Tunisian Bar Association, the Tunisian General Workers Union, the Tunisian Trade and Crafts Union and the Tunisian Union for Human Rights, was awarded the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts in the Jasmine Revolution.

In Tunisia, where political stability and the growing economic crisis could not be achieved after the revolution, the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet received the Nobel Peace Prize, reviving faith in the Jasmine Revolution in the country.

The terrorist attacks in Tunisia in 2015-2016 deepened the political and economic crisis

On March 18, 2015, the Daesh terrorist organization, which carried out an armed attack on the Bardo Museum, located in the same garden as the Tunisian parliament, killed 22 people, most of whom were tourists.

In June 2015, 38 people, most of whom were British citizens, were killed in an armed attack on a hotel beach in the tourist town of Sousse as a result of a terrorist attack directed against tourists.

In November of the same year, the 5th district in the center of Tunisia. 12 security personnel were killed in a suicide attack on the Presidential Guard on Mohammed Street.

Dozens of people were killed in an attack by ISIS militants on security forces in the city of Bengirdan in the south of the country, located on the border with Libya.

A political crisis provokes an economic crisis

After the January 2014 general elections, the Tunisian government, formed under the chairmanship of Habib al-Sidd, who served as Interior minister in the coalition government in 2011, fell after Parliament withdrew a vote of confidence on the grounds that it was insufficient in the face of terrorist attacks in 2015-2016.

In Tunisia, where the political crisis is growing, the economic crisis has been exacerbated by the fall of successive Governments.

The coalition government formed in August 2016 under the leadership of Youssef Shahid of the Nida Tunis party and the successive governments of Ilyas Fahfah and Hisham al-Mashishi failed to resolve either the political or economic crisis.

At the end of 2017, Tunisia, gripped by an economic crisis, was forced, at the request of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to adopt a budget law that included "austerity" measures, under which taxes were raised and government spending was limited in order to reduce the current account deficit and increase revenues.

After the adoption of the new budget law, the huge increase in food prices and the rising cost of living again led to protests in the country.

On January 8, 2018, a demonstrator was killed during a demonstration in Mannouba province, near the capital Tunis, causing protests to spread to many cities in the country.

The escalation of the political crisis in Tunisia and Said's "extraordinary decisions"

In the second round of the presidential elections held in October 2019, amid the ongoing political crisis in Tunisia, constitutional law professor Case Said was elected president, receiving more than 70 percent of the vote.

In the parliamentary elections held in the country on October 6, the parties reached a close number of deputies.

The fact that the Ennahda movement received 52 deputies, the Heart of Tunisia party - 38 deputies, the Democratic Current party — 22 deputies and the Dignity coalition — 21 deputies made it difficult to form a coalition government.

The government formed in February 2020 by Ilyas Fahfa, appointed by President Said, was unable to receive a vote of confidence from Parliament because it could not cope with the crisis.

Hisham al-Mashishi, who formed the government after Fahfa in September 2020, fell victim to President Said's "extraordinary decisions" on July 25, 2021.

On July 25, 2021, Said suspended parliament and dissolved the Mashisha government with "extraordinary decisions," saying that political parties had not succeeded in governing the country.

It is expected that political and economic stability will be achieved in the 13th year of the revolution

In Tunisia, where the political and economic crisis continued to escalate after the extraordinary decisions made by President Said, the years 2022 and 2023 continued amid political and economic uncertainty.

Tensions rose between Saeed, whom the public supported for political and economic stability, and an opposition group that opposed Saeed's decisions, calling them a "coup."

As part of President Said's roadmap to overcome the political crisis, the new Constitution was adopted in a referendum held on July 25, with 30.5 percent of voters voting in favor.

After the early general elections held on December 17 and boycotted by political parties, Parliament reopened.

The first round of elections to the "Regional and Local National Council", which is included in the new Constitution and provides for joint work with parliament, was held on December 24, 2023 in the shadow of a boycott of political parties.

The Council, which will be formed after the elections, the second round of which is expected in February 2024, is seen as the last link in President Said's roadmap.

Dozens of politicians, journalists, activists, judges and businessmen, including former Speaker of Parliament and leader of the Ennahda movement Ghannouchi, were sent to prison for "conspiracy against state security" during operations that began on February 11, 2023 after a process of appeasement of political parties.

The opposition group describes the investigation into the "conspiracy against state security" as an "intimidation operation" against them.