Tunisia's Budding Democracy Faces Its Biggest Test

Aug 26, 2019 | 09:00 GMT

The Tunisian parliament holds a session in November 2018.

General view of a session for the 2019 budget proposal in Tunis, Tunisia.

(YASSINE GAIDI/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

In 2014, Beji Caid Essebsi became Tunisia's first-ever popularly elected president after the country famously ousted its authoritarian leader of 22 years, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Caid Essebsi was also the country's first leader to respect the new, limited role of the presidency per the country's 2014 constitution. But whether that precedent continues will now be up to his successor. Following Caid Essebsi's death in July, Tunisia's presidential elections were moved up several weeks to mid-September. The balloting will carry heavy regional significance because as the Arab Spring showed, Tunisia wields an outsized influence on its regional peers, and its results could very well dictate the long-term sustainability of its democracy....