Secularists celebrate first victory over Islamists in student union elections

Tunisian secularists are abuzz today over the apparent landslide victory of the UGET (l’Union générale des étudiants tunisiens) over the UGTE (l’Union générale tunisienne des étudiants). These came just a week after violent clashes between Salafists and other students at Manouba University. Jeune Afrique reports:

Symbolized by the blocking of the Faculty of Arts of Manouba, but also by various violent incidents in Gabes, Sousse and Kairouan, Islamic-Salafi pressure just suffered a crushing blow.

The Agence France Presse reports:

UGET [secularist] candidates dominated the elections, which took place Thursday, collecting 250 seats out of 284 in forty institutions, according to the official website of the union.
“This is a historic victory”, said Secretary General of Uget, Alaa Zaatour, 14 Mag site.”Academic institutions with more than 4000 students voted almost unanimously for Uget,”he said.

It’s difficult to put any student union election in a broader context. These elections have not been widely followed by the Tunisian media and it is unclear the impact it might have on the direction of universities, let alone society at large.

Jeune Afrique reports on reactions from UGET members:

Ennahda has been poorly served by the support it has given to the Salafists, said Meriem Belhaj, a law student at El-Manar [University]. By not taking a position, it [Ennahhda] suggested that it approved of the violence that has taken place this academic year, which could cause the year to be cancelled; this is not the will of the majority. The students have many concerns, of course, but they are not religious in nature and, especially, do not apply to teachers. “

While many quetsions remain unanswered, there are two lessons we can draw.

First, this was the first victory by secularists since the revolution. Despite continued protests and endless commentary since the uprising last January, Tunisian secularists have been consistently beaten in the polls and at the ballot box by Islamists. In that sense, this is at the very least a moral victory for them.

Secondly, while news reports have not focused on turnout or how the elections were conducted, the UGET seemed to be able to mobilize its membership in a way that secular political parties have been unable to do. Voter mobilization was one of the keys to Ennahdha’s victory in October and has been a major stumbling block for secularists in Tunisia.


Secular extremists the new buzzword on the Tunisian right

In an interesting parallel to American politics, Tunisia’s right wing, predominantly the Islamist party, Ennahdha, have embarked on a campaign to call out what they consider to be “secular extremists.”

The Associated Press’s Paul Schemm reported this week:

Said Ferjani, a high ranking member of Ennahda, told The Associated Press that the last thing they wanted right now was a culture war between the Salafis and what he calls the “secular fundamentalists.”

“We are dealing with the business of government, we have floods in the north, a sinking economy and these people are talking about the burqa and the hijab (headscarf),” he said with exasperation. “I don’t think they are very grown up.”

Tunisian blogger Kaouther Ferjani recently wrote about an incident at the Constituent Assembly, where an Assembly member, Tahar Hmila, was verbally assaulted by two women:

Hmila explained that Tunisia suffers from both right-wing extremism and leftist extremism and that they “two sides of the same coin”…

…He urges the government to continue to work hard in bringing success and stability to the country as it would leave little room for both leftist and right-wing extremists to cause disruption.

With news of right wing (Islamist) extremists dominating news in recent weeks, Ennahdha and its supporters appear to be trying to balance what they perceive to be an unfair debate. Essentially, they posit that when a left winger protests for their beliefs, they’re portrayed as freedom fighters, whereas if a right winger does the same thing, they’re obscurantists looking to bring Tunisia back to the Middle Ages.

Ennahdha supporters have been dismayed by attacks on their movement, a movement they see as democratic, having finally gained power legitimately through democratic elections. And yet, despite a clear democratic mandate and a difficult period for the country, the opposition not only attacks their positions but questions their legitimacy and their commitment to democracy.

As an example, since forming the government, much of the Tunisian media has insisted on using the term, provisoire or interim, to describe the government. The explanation used is that the government was set up only for a limited period of time until a new constitution was ratified. (Of course, by the same logic, any democratic government could be called interim, by their nature they are not meant to last.) The rhetoric has appeared more petty than anything else.

Thus, when left wing Tunisians accuse the ruling party of harboring extremist sentiments, Ennahdha’s supporters get exasperated to be grouped together with jihadists and terrorists.

The calculation by Ennahdha seems to be, if you can’t convince them that you’re moderate, you should play be the same rules. It’s a dangerous, but often effective game – for both sides. We’re all extremists!

Constituent services come to Tunisians abroad – kind of

The magazine 216 (for Tunisians abroad) has established a sort of constituent service for Tunisians to follow their elected representatives in the Tunisian Constituent Assembly. Tunisian abroad are represented by 18 representatives from various constituencies around the world.

From Tunisiensdumonde’s press release:

The service “Follow my representative,” is a contribution to the dialogue between Tunisian citizens abroad and their elected representatives to the Constituent Assembly, published by the magazine and website Tunisiensdumonde 00216, unrelated to any political party or institution. The ultimate goal is to make Tunisians citizens abroad involved in building democracy in Tunisia….

So far so good. What’s more, the site has usefully added pertinent information and bios about all of Tunisia’s elected reps overseas. Unfortunately, it has also decided to filter submitted questions through an editorial board to avoid “overburdening” the officials:

Each user can submit online a subject in the news. To avoid overloading the work of elected officials and ensure timely responses, we limit the number of public issues to 6 per month. An editorial board selects the questions submitted by citizens based on their interest and their relevance to current events. Once these issues are validated and published on the site, a mail notification is sent to the eighteen representatives abroad to invite them to respond.

Of course, if you don’t want to go through an intermediary, you can also contact your assembly member directly, on Twitter.

Ennahdha’s real vulnerability – they’re amateurs

Tunisia’s continuing strikes and sit ins have put the ruling Ennahdha party in an uncomfortable and tenuous position. While the social troubles in Tunisia pale in comparison to those in its fellow reolutionary countries, try telling that to a mother who has to walk her children through a growing mountain of trash on the way to school because of an ongoing dispute between sanitation workers and the local government.

Ennahdha’s reaction has been halting and convoluted – and shown just how much they are new to the process of governing. In a word, they’re amateurs.

The government of Ennahdha has been pressed to put an end to these work stoppages. They know well that governments can rise and fall based on popular revolt and they need to show their ability to run government effectively. The problem is that the very nature of Tunisia’s revolution has made them vulnerable to any action which can be construed to go against the popular wishes of the people.

Thus, when Ennahdha calls for an end to work stoppages, they get slammed from the left – after all, wasn’t one of Ben Ali’s biggest crimes the suppression of wages and the cooption of unions? They also get slammed from the right, which doesn’t object a priori to a law and order party – but remains distrustful of the still un-reformed police.

On top of it, Ennahdha’s right wing has made life difficult for centrists. Last week constituent assembly member Sadok Chorou called for a hard crackdown on protesters, invoking medieval punishments such as crucifixion.  Prior to his recent comments, Chorou was already known as a hardliner who had spent 18 years in jail under Ben Ali, after leading Ennahdha in the early 199os.

While his comments sparked outrage and protest among Tunisia’s left wing, it was Ennahdha’s official reaction that was more telling. According to

Lotfi Zitoun, conseiller auprès du Premier ministre Hamadi Jebali, a expliqué quant à lui que les paroles de Chourou ne devaient pas être prises “au sens littéral”.

“Il estime que ces sit-ins font du tort à l’économie”, a-t-il déclaré. “Cet homme a passé plus de vingt ans en prison et a été interdit de parole pendant seize ans en détention solitaire, il a le droit de dire ce qu’il souhaite, bénéficie de l’immunité en tant que membre de l’assemblée constituante, et ne peut être jugé sur ses intentions.”

My translation:

Lotfi Zitoun, adviser to Prime Minister Jebali, explained that Chorou’s comments should not be taken “literally.”

“He thinks that these protesters have hurt the economy,” he stated. “This man spent more than 20 years in prison [sic] and  was forbidden from speaking during 16 years of solitary confinement, he has the right to say what he wants, and with immunity from prosecution as a member of parliament, he cannot be judged based on his intentions.”

According to Businessnews, when asked about Chorou’s comments, Samir Dilou, Ennahdha’s spokesman, stated:

il ne faut pas trop s’y attarder, c’est une affaire morte. M. Ellouze s’est d’ailleurs exprimé au nom de tous les Nahdhaouis à la Constituante pour expliquer que le but de la citation coranique n’est autre que de dénoncer les sit-in et leurs méfaits

My translation:

We shouldn’t dwell on this, it’s over. Mr. Ellouze [Ennahdha representative from Sfax] has already stated in the name of all Ennahdha supporters in the parliament that the goal of citing this Quranic verse is for no other reason that to denounce protesters and their misdeeds.

This is but one example of Ennahdha leaders downplaying comments by more extreme elements in their movement. In the case of the Tunisian television head who is being tried in criminal court for airing the cartoon Persepolis, Ennahdha’s official reaction has been that there should not have been violence against the station or its staff, but that the broadcast was inflammatory. In the case of the ongoing sit-in by niqab wearing students at Manouba university, Ennahdha has refused to take a stand one way or another.

It’s these kinds of statements that make Tunisian secularists label Ennahdha the party of multiple discourses, saying one thing to their hardline constituents while saying another to the general public. This very well may be true. Though it should be noted, political parties often have multiple discourses. In the United States, a democrat running for office in Idaho will have a very different message than a democrat running for office in New York City.

But perhaps there is an alternate explanation altogether: Ennahdha are simply amateurs, too used to being opposition members and never really having to lead or confront hostile audiences.

In many ways, Ennahdha’s situation is like that of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. As Khalil al-Anani wrote recently in Foreign Policy [hat tip Issander el Amrani at the Arabist]:

Paradoxically, despite the outright majority attained by its Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the MB is still thinking and acting as an opposition movement rather than a responsible power-holder. It seems reluctant to take full power over the country or as Nathan Brown aptly puts it, “the MB confronts its success.” Hence the MB’s leaders are grappling with making the shift from long-standing repressed mentalities to those of statesmen…

Time after time, Ennahdha has hedged words and responded re-actively to the problems they have faced. While their platform was extensive, they seem vulnerable to attacks by a small minority of secularists. This in spite of the fact that they still enjoy popular support and that most Tunisians genuinely want the government to succeed.

But Tunisia’s Islamist leaders are afflicted by two distinct problems:

1) the breadth of views among their constituents (they were supported by moderate, urban middle class voters, overseas constituencies, the rural poor, as well as hardline religious zealots). Pary leader Rached Ghannouchi shows the moderate, polished, educated version of Ennahdha, while Chorou represents the wing of Ennahdha that languished for years in Ben Ali’s torture chambers prisons.

2) The contradictory message of Tunisian voters. Tunisians overwhelmingly want a return to the calm and order of Ben Ali. At the same time, Tunisians mistrust their police force and want the right to protest against their employers – many of whom supported Ben Ali’s kleptocracy.

Ennahdha’s amateurism would likely have afflicted any other party – it’s always easier to criticize than to lead. But right now, since the elections, Tunisians expect Ennahdha to lead, not to mince words. Time will tell if Ennahdha gets its voice back.

Tunisia year 1: Five ways Tunisia has changed for the better

One year ago tomorrow Tunisia will celebrate the first anniversary of the flight of Ben Ali and his reviled wife to Saudi Arabia. And yet, to talk to Tunisians, nothing has changed. This chorus of negativity has been a common theme since the revolution, leading to protests that later fell the first interim government, and now are a thorn in the side of Tunisian industries and the newly elected government itself.

Since the new year, a wave of self-immolations across Tunisia has shocked Tunisians. The BBC reports that in the 6 months since Mohammed Bouazizi’s death, 107 Tunisians attempted to light themselves on fire. Meanwhile, following a wave of protests in the phosphate mining industry, Tunisian petrol workers began striking this week. On the same day, protests erupted in front of the Ministry of the Interior over the perceived lack of concrete changes to the security apparatus.

Euronews reports today that “resignation replaces revolution in Tunisia.” They quote a young man saying what I have heard over and over:

A year after the revolution nothing’s changed. At least before things were safe on the streets, you could go out when you liked. Unemployment’s gone up to at least 800,000 today. Nothing’s changed in Tunisia.

While distress is natural for a people that have undergone the biggest cultural change since their independence from France in 1956, can one really say that nothing has changed? Change in Tunisia, imperceptible to many, far too slow to others, has indeed come to Tunisia. Here are five concrete ways Tunisia has changed, for the better.

1) Freedom to Criticize: This came almost instantaneously after Ben Ali’s departure – and is perhaps the freedom most exercised by Tunisians – criticizing their government. I noted that only one day after Ben Ali’s departure, the cafes were louder. What before had to be said behind closed doors and in the company of only the most trusted confidants, Tunisians loudly and proudly shouted on the streets. Magazines proliferated. Everyone under 30 seemed to be practicing citizen journalism.

While the Stasi-like police state has been dismantled, Tunisians’ ability to protest has not come without problems. The well reported stories in the west about the attack on a Tunisian cinema (for airing a film about an atheist in Tunisia) overshadowed more sinister stories, such as the stories of Nabil Hajlaoui and Samir Feriani. Both men were held in Tunisian jails for openly criticizing the military and the interior ministry, respectively. Other cases, such as restrictions on internet freedoms or the continued government control of key media outlets are also cause for concern.

While concerns remain, Tunisians do not appear on the verge of easily giving up their long-repressed rights to criticize their government. And there are signs that the government itself is taking this into account. Following journalist protests, the government has promised to review its nominees for key press positions.

2) Protests: Protests have been complicated in post-Ben Ali Tunisia. Seen as a hard won right by those who risked their lives against the regime, they have also frustrated Tunisians who think that protests have held back the country from getting its economy back on track. Stories such as that of the Japanese company Yazaki, which has threatened to pull out of the country because of ongoing worker sit-ins, are frequently reported.

Strikes in Tunisia are further complicated, like so many things, because of the corrupt policies of the previous regime. Worker unions had been co-opted by the previous regime; they were unable to protect the interests of Tunisian workers. This allowed the government to suppress wages and attract foreign investment. The foreign investors who profited from this arrangement have undoubtedly been nervous about the waves of protests since the uprising.

Despite government calls for moratoriums on sit-ins (both under the interim regime and the current, elected government), Tunisians continue to exercise their right to free assembly and organization. Worker protests are bolstered by the ongoing support of civil society activists who have called on the government to protect their rights and prosecute corruption under the previous regime. Immediately following the investiture of the constituent assembly, various groups from around Tunisia staged daily protests to urge legislators to uphold their campaign promises.

3) Police: Feared under Ben Ali, and for good reason. Police in Tunisia were well-known not only for their undercover surveillance, but also their brutality. You don’t have to go far to meet Tunisians who were themselves, or had close family members, tortured in one of the interior ministry torture chambers under Bourguiba Avenue.

Police reform remains an absolutely vital issue in Tunisia, witnessed by this week’s protest at the Interior Ministry. However, most Tunisians would admit that the threat of arbitrary arrest has significantly decreased, to the benefit of religious fundamentalists and civil libertarians alike.

4) Corruption: One of the key criticisms of the post-Ben Ali era has been that the vast majority of officials have stayed exactly where they were before the uprising. There have been no major changes to key ministries and many of those close to Ben Ali remain at the helm of Tunisia’s largest businesses. One element that has changed, however, has been the decrease, if not elimination of coercive corruption. As I noted last month:

Entrepreneurs were increasingly punished under Ben Ali. If you ran a successful business, the family would demand ownership. If you were a taxi cab driver, your permit would be renewed only if you bought a car from a Trabelsi dealership. If you were a civil servant, you were obligated to take out loans from one of the Trabelsi owned banks. While the government touted economic growth figures, the average Tunisian increasingly felt marginalized.

While corruption will continue to be a part of Tunisian life, and is a continued risk no matter which party is in power, the kind of coercive economic corruption practiced under Ben Ali has all but disappeared.

5) Mentality: Perhaps most importantly as Tunisia begins to build and rebuild its institutions that will guarantee its liberties, Tunisians more than ever before have a mentality that is premised on basic freedoms – and they know that their voices count. The wall of fear built by Ben Ali has been destroyed. Rather than being the subjects of history, Tunisians today know that they have the power to affect change.

I cannot pretend that all is well in Tunisia. Millions still suffer from poverty and lack of opportunities. The political risks remain enormous, and according to history – the odds are against Tunisia’s success.

At the same time, I look at Tunisia today and see that I have more freedom today than I did one year ago.  I look at Tunisia today and see that I have more rights today than I did one year ago. That’s progress.

Don’t lower the bar for Tunisia

I generally try to write more about political events in Tunisia and how they can be interpreted from various angles, staying away from political commentary. But lately, I can’t help but feeling a little bit disappointed at a lot of the commentary on Tunisia’s successful democratic transition. Since October’s elections, Tunisia has fallen once again by the wayside, used primarily as a reference point of relative success compared to the failures of the “Arab Spring.” Article after article talks about the carnage in Syria, the dashed hopes in Egypt, and the worry over Libya, before casually referring to the “don’t worry about a thing” success story that is Tunisia. I would argue that this attitude is one of the greatest threats to Tunisia’s democracy and to Tunisia’s democratic activists.

Tunisia's success should not be taken for granted

The irony of talking too early about the Tunisian success story is how closely it mimics western treatment of Tunisia under the Bourguiba/Ben Ali dictatorships

Driving the storyline of Tunisia’s success, both by Arab and western commentators, are the successful elections and transition process, the moderate strain of Islam in Tunisia (highlighted by the moderate Islamist party, Ennahdha), and many demographic factors, such as Tunisia’s homogeneity and lack of a resource curse. Truth be told, I wrote about this in the hyopethitical as far back as June in a piece at, 5 reasons why Tunisia will succeed and the rest of the Arab Spring will fail).

These approaches are valid and natural. Tunisia is blessed by many common factors endemic to democratic countries and Ennahdha has spoken like true democrats. But, this approach also risks lowering the bar for Tunisia compared to well functioning democracies. It will be tragic if Tunisia becomes a success, merely by ending up better than its Arab neighbors, and not based on its basic freedoms and institutions.

The irony of talking too early about the Tunisian success story is how closely it mimics western treatment of Tunisia under the Bourguiba/Ben Ali dictatorships, where the common refrain was: “of course they’re authoritarian, but look at the economy and the state of women.” Under Tunisia’s new rulers it may not be praise for women’s rights, but rather integration of Islamists into the democratic process, or greater press freedoms, while disregarding democratic backsliding on many other levels.

Overall, this strikes me as just as paternalistic as under the previous regime. If the new government does not enshrine political and civil rights into its new constitution, clean up the courts and the justice ministry, and reform the process of patronage between government and industry one cannot credit it for simply not being like Egypt. Tunisia’s smooth transition does not necessarily portend civil rights, merely a lack of civil war.

Tunisian civil society has blossomed in the past year. From the day after the elections, they have lobbied the government to ensure that their interests are protected in the new constitution. However, in Tunisia itself protests are often perceived as counter-productive – especially for a country that so desperately needs to get its economy back on track.  Activists so far have concentrated their efforts on lobbying for the most basic of civil rights: open government, freedom of speech (including internet freedoms), and the rights of women.

These activists need outside support to draw attention to their causes. Instead, what they are hearing is how well everything is going here in Tunisia. The government, after all, has promised to give Tunisians their rights and right the economy.

But students of history know better.

This is not a story of whether an Islamist government can be trusted. This is simply the effort to enshrine into law the rights that all Tunisians (and humans) deserve – whether or not they are in the streets or not. Without concerted pressure on the government, it risks backsliding on its democratic pledges – that’s nothing against Islamists or Ennahdha – that’s just the reality of political power.  We’ve already seen one example this past week of the government enshrining a discriminatory principle into the “petite constitution” that only Muslims can be president (a moot point in a country that is 98 percent Muslim, but troubling nonetheless).

Yes, it is normal to be hopeful for Tunisia. Yes, Tunisia has passed many tests in the past year. But the true battle for political and civil rights has not yet been fought. Officially, Tunisians have no more civil rights today than they did under Ben Ali. The constitution has yet to be written, justice has not yet been done against the former regime.

Tunisia’s success will not be known today, tomorrow, or a year from now. Until it is a success, one must continue to support the struggle in Tunisia.

Question: How long will it take for the Tunisian parliament to adopt a new constitution? Answer: 3 weeks

Overshadowed by the European debt crisis, the elections in Egypt, and the continuing meltdown in Syria, Tunisia is, as I write, adopting a new constitution. Dubbed the “petite constitution” by the Tunisian press, the Constituent Assembly is debating the powers of the presidency, the prime minister, and the rules for the assembly.

What, you ask, isn’t that work supposed to take months, if not years? Yes, in fact, the Constituent Assembly was set up to do that very thing. The problem is that along with the election – the old constitution was thrown out. In fact, legally, ever since Ben Ali left power Tunisia has been in a constitutional gray area. The constitution under Ben Ali gave the president sweeping authorities; after January14, the political establishment came to an understanding that the government would operate without a constitution until the elections. With the courts, the military, and the government going along with it, it worked.

The only remaining vestige of the old power structure was the figure of Fouad Mebazaa, who assumed the presidency after Ben Ali fled the country. But from January 14 until October 23 (the date of the elections), real power was held by the ad-hoc Ben Achour Commission, made up of political party officials, civil society actors, and assorted activists. The Commission granted the Prime Minister’s office authority to legislate. Mohammed Ghannouchi followed by Beji Caid Essebsi filled this role until the October 23 elections.

Following the elections, when Ennahdha’s victory was clear, the victors proclaimed that with their 40 percent majority – they would take the position of prime minister – this before they had secured a working majority in parliament. But, lest we criticize them too much, they also held true to their promise of inviting any party into their government in order to form a majority. For the next three weeks, the leaders of the top three parties (excluding the enigmatic Aridha party) jockeyed for position. The CPR’s Moncef Marzouki claimed the presidency, while Ettakatol’s Mustapha Ben Jafaar claimed the speaker of the new assembly.

But one key question remained: what would these positions actually do?

Without a functional constitution, it was unclear whether the regime would be presidential, parliamentary, or some combination. It was only the internal debates between the so-called “Troika” of Ennahdha, CPR, and Ettakatol that would determine the kind of regime that would govern the country.

As the weeks went by, the election results were finalized, and the officials were seated in the first session of the assembly, it became more and more clear that the country was being run under no enumerated powers. Finally, legislation was introduced in the assembly to clearly establish the powers of the prime minister as the legislator and executive in chief. Sticking to their campaign position of forming a parliamentary regime, Ennahdha clearly wanted their man, Hamadi Jebali, to be calling the shots. The problem was that they completely excluded their governing  partners – and Ennahdha didn’t have a majority to pass the bill!

Marzouki went nuts – threatening to pull out of the coalition. It seems that the legislation made the presidency – which he so coveted – a purely ceremonial post – with no real powers. Likewise, the Prime Minister could pass legislation without the assembly. The logic was that the assembly was there to draft the constitution and approve ministerial posts, and that’s it.

Two more weeks went by – with major upheavals in the country – including a massive strike in the restive region of Gafsa and another culture war involving Salafists and the wearing of the full face veil at an important university near Tunis. Finally, a breakthrough – it seems that the Troika reached a compromise last night over critical issues. Not only did they resolve the separation of powers issue more equitably, but they removed a controversial element in the draft law that required a two-thirds majority for a no-confidence vote in the assembly.

But while the Troika seemed to agree – they had not presented their ideas to anyone else in the assembly. The draft legislation arrived on legislators desks this morning – with a vote scheduled for….this morning. Debate continues into the evening here in Tunis on the bill, which is being voted on article by article. In essence – Tunisia is getting a new constitution today. Ultimately, the issue comes down to how much power Ennahdha deserves. While they are the undoubted victors in the elections, governing requires compromise, as Rached Ghannouchi recently put it. The Tunisian people – and political parties have grown a taste for challenging authority and political debate. This will test the nerves of Ennahdha, which on one hand needs to show results to its constituents, but remains vulnerable to charges of authoritarianism (particularly in a country with a history of dictatorship). One gets the impression that no matter what the outcome of the votes today, the issue of how much power Ennahdha can legitimately claim will be an ongoing issue in the months to come.

Popular reactions

Secular parties, left for dead after their defeat in October, as well as Aridha, have used these events to their political advantage, demonstrating to a country fearful of a return to dictatorship the value of an effective opposition. They have staged protests at the parliament to voice their concerns over the legislation and show that while they may have lost the election, they will not be silenced. Dubbed “Occupy Bardo” for the name of the parliament, the demonstrations have brought together secularists and Islamists in a very public debate. A constant, if unconvincing refrain, is that while Ennahdha may have the seats in the assembly – they do not have a popular mandate – less than 20 percent of the voting age population voted for them.

Meanwhile, Ennahdha supporters have been divided. Many see the protests by secularists as needlessly slowing down the country, which is in need of getting back to normal. They see the protests as opportunistic and anti democratic (who won the elections after all?) Others share the fear of a return to dictatorship and want to see Ennahdha follow through on its campaign promise of working with all actors in the political spectrum.