More than a year went by since the religiously oriented an-Nahda party came to power in Tunisia, with the majority of the votes in democratic elections. The party has, since then, re-drafted the constitution, yet the living standards did not see a major change.
Maybe this deception is the reason for the recent demonstrations against the government. Added to this is the murder of the second greatest opposition figure, Mohamed Brahmi on last Thursday. Since Friday – which seems to be a day for protests even for the less religious – thousands of secular protesters gathered in Tunis for a march against the Islamic government. Minor clashes with the police occurred, leaving no dead behind.
The opposition blames the Islamists for the murder of Brahmi, but the Salafist group Ansar al-Sharia refused the accusations and claimed having no involvement in the killing of the opposition figure. Others preferred to put the blame on the government itself, also blaming it for the killing of Chokri Belaid, another well-known and active opposition figure.
The protesters call upon the government to resign and refuse reconciliation with the ruling an-Nahda party. The Salvation Front Coalition and the Tunisian Workers’ Party are seemed to be rather united in their opposition to the regime and are planning to nominate a new prime minister and a new government together.
Strange as it is that these protests erupted while Egypt is also struggling with its counter-protests and the aftermath of Mursi’s removal. As if the history would be repeating itself, but the other way round. A few years ago when the so-called Arab Spring started, Tunisia launched a nation-wide Islamisation of politics, taking right after itself Egypt, Libya and Syria to a certain extent. Yet it seems that the people who chose or agreed to choose these governments are now dissatisfied, or feel deceived about the efficacy of their governments, and, having the courage to protest, rose up once again in a very short time against their leaders. Yet this time, Egypt initiated the move with anti-Mursi protests and succeeded in removing the Brotherhood from its governmental position. And now follows Tunisia.
These happenings point out Egypt’s and Tunisia’s fragile peace that can be shattered at the smallest dissatisfaction and is hard to maintain in the turmoil of these days.