Tunisians Continue to Push for Government Reform
Youth groups in Tunisia continue to organize protests aimed at criticizing government performance and a lack of adherence to principles of the revolution. Sawty, a democracy promotion group, passed out blank pamphlets labeled “Tunisian constitution” on August 11 to call attention to the continued delay of the document’s final draft. Ekbes, representative of young Ennahda members, held protests on August 15 to urge Tunisian leaders to continue the process of reform and to present an outline of the political calendar. “This was a way of protesting the government’s performance,” said Houssem Eddine Trabelsi, the group’s coordinator. “Just because we are the youth of Ennahda doesn’t mean we should keep quiet if they are doing something wrong,” he added.
Reporters Without Borders reported on developments in the case against Sami Fehri, head of Attounisia TV, whose alleged mismanagement of a production company caused severe financial losses for the state-owned station, Télévision Nationale. “The criminal court’s sudden haste to deal with a case that began a year and a half ago and the flagrant procedural violations are at the very least surprising and raise questions about the motives of its judges,” the organization said. In other news, the Tunisian Culture Ministry and Union of Tunisian Writers denounced recent attacks on intellectuals and artists. The ministry released a statement saying, ” freedom of opinion and creation is an inalienable gain of the Revolution, [and that] it will always support creators in defending their right to express their opinions freely.”
Finally, Daily Star writer Rami Khouri expressed his thoughts on the potential for constitutional reform in the region, with particular reference to Egypt and Tunisia. “These struggles for constitutional consensus are the most important of the many other contests that comprise the ongoing Arab transformations,” he said. “I find these processes heartening [because] they indicate the Arab publics’ commitments to something far more important than merely overthrowing heavy-handed dictators, which is their insistence on living in societies that are governed by the rule of law and that actually respect values of equality, social justice, and dignity.”