Tunisians Vote In Historic Election

Historic Vote In Tunisia
Over five million Tunisians were registered to vote Sunday in parliamentary elections, for the first time under a new constitution drafted after the ouster of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. An estimated 60 percent went to the polls to elect the secularist Nidaa Tounes party, which secured 83 seats compared to 68 for the Islamist Ennahda, reports Bloomberg News.

No party is expected to win a majority, so a coalition will likely be necessary for the formation of the new government. Tunisians will return to the polls on November 23 for a presidential election.

The election in Tunisia was more consequential than the votes in Brazil or Ukraine, argues The Washington Post’s Jackson Diehl.

“In some fundamental ways, it’s not. Like most of the Middle East, Tunisia has been left behind by globalization. It’s plagued with a stifling state bureaucracy, a poor education system and a generation of youth unable to find work — exemplified by Mohammed Bouazizi, the disenchanted fruit seller whose self-immolation on Dec. 17, 2010, touched off the first protests of what was once called the ‘Arab spring.'” Diehl asserts.

US-Arab Counterterrorism Cooperation In A Volatile Region Michele Dunne and Frederic Wehrey of the Carnegie Endowment for Peace examine U.S.-Arab counterterrorism efforts in a region that is ripe for extremism.

“A problem that has already received well-deserved attention is that regional powers, including some Arab states, Iran, and Turkey, have at times supported terrorist groups in their attempts to steer outcomes in Syria and elsewhere, as well as in their power struggles with each other,” they note.

Why Turkey Will Not Defend The Kurds
Scott Bleiweis of the Foreign Policy Foundation has a short blog article on why the Turkish government will defend Kurds in Iraq, but not in their own country.

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