NARCO ANALYSIS: Tough Times in Tunisia

Thursday, March 31, 2022

By Geoff D. Porter

Once the North African darling of the international community and the so-called lone success story of the Arab Spring, Tunisia is drifting toward authoritarianism and hurtling toward an economic cliff. Breaking Tunisia’s enchantment with dialogue, which seemingly did not lead to sound policy, President Saied has consolidated power in the presidency and refused to engage with other political stakeholders.

Meanwhile, absent policymaking, Tunisia’s economic malaise is intensifying. The commodities knock-on effect of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has made matters materially worse. Grain, fuel, sugar, and other commodities are in short supply and much more expensive.

Tunisia is facing two scenarios in the near term: either Saied steps down or he embarks on a much more repressive phase in the face of violent social unrest.

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