Tunisia after the Revolution which started the Arab Spring in 2011.

Submitted by: John Bryden on 2011-12-12
A few superficial impressions (from a Rural Development standpoint) from a very short visit 8-11 December 2011. 

 

Just by way of background, the constitutional assembly was working hard on the mini-constitution which would lead to the election of a prime minister and ministers and a modus operandi to prepare the new national constitution, after which, as I understand it, there will be elections again next year. After the recent election of the constituent assembly, the moderate Islamist Nahdah Party holds the majority of seats, and two other parties including the left socialist party hold the balance. These parties are working together. There were I believe a further 90 or so parties fielding candidates.

 

Just by way of background, the constitutional assembly was working hard on the mini-constitution which would lead to the election of a prime minister and ministers and a modus operandi to prepare the new national constitution, after which, as I understand it, there will be elections again next year. After the recent election of the constituent assembly, the moderate Islamist Nahdah Party holds the majority of seats, and two other parties including the left socialist party hold the balance. These parties are working together. There were I believe a further 90 or so parties fielding candidates.  My role was to talk about the importance of rural people, rural regions and rural development on a panel reflecting on regional imbalances and inequities. As I said in my speech, it is in the deep rural regions and communities, and in the slums around the cities, that poverty, poor education and health care, unemployment and underemployment, disempowerment, and social exclusion is concentrated. It is as I said, a crime against humanity and an abrogation of any sense of a social contract – as well as a massive waste of human resources – that this is so, and it surely needs to be a priority for action in the ‘new model’ This should start with action at the lowest levels – people need to be involved in reflecting on their needs, resources, and possibilities, but they need help to do this, not in the old paternalistic way, but as a participatory process.

Just by way of background, the constitutional assembly was working hard on the mini-constitution which would lead to the election of a prime minister and ministers and a modus operandi to prepare the new national constitution, after which, as I understand it, there will be elections again next year. After the recent election of the constituent assembly, the moderate Islamist Nahdah Party holds the majority of seats, and two other parties including the left socialist party hold the balance. These parties are working together. There were I believe a further 90 or so parties fielding candidates.  My role was to talk about the importance of rural people, rural regions and rural development on a panel reflecting on regional imbalances and inequities. As I said in my speech, it is in the deep rural regions and communities, and in the slums around the cities, that poverty, poor education and health care, unemployment and underemployment, disempowerment, and social exclusion is concentrated. It is as I said, a crime against humanity and an abrogation of any sense of a social contract – as well as a massive waste of human resources – that this is so, and it surely needs to be a priority for action in the ‘new model’ This should start with action at the lowest levels – people need to be involved in reflecting on their needs, resources, and possibilities, but they need help to do this, not in the old paternalistic way, but as a participatory process.

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