Friday, February 11, 2011

Arab "democracy"

Remember the Tunisian "democratic revolution", the inspiration for Egypt's "democratic revolution"?
Tunisia's Senate has followed the lead of the lower house of parliament and adopted a measure giving interim President Fouad Mebazaa temporary powers to rule by decree.

Wednesday, the Senate unanimously passed the measure, which is part of an effort to help restore order following the January ouster of then-President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali by popular revolt.

The French news agency, AFP, quotes interim Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi as saying the caretaker government is facing social pressure because of the demands of citizens seeking economic improvements.

Tunisia has been struggling to restore order after anger about unemployment, high food prices and authoritarian rule sparked a series of mass protests resulting in the ouster of the Ben Ali government.

The coalition government installed after Ben Ali's departure has said that people linked to the former authorities are secretly trying to spread chaos and take back power.

An "interim president" with the power to rule by decree (and who bans the former ruling political party) is not a hopeful sign of democratic reform.

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