On Sunday, the Arab Spring’s first competitive multiparty democratic elections will take place in Tunisia. Although overshadowed by other events in the region, Tunisia’s vote is a major milestone for the cause of freedom in the Middle East, and it underscores Tunisia’s potential as a democratic success story that deserves US attention and support.
Tunisians distribute electoral leaflets in Ariana. AFP
Earlier this year Tunisia was the first Middle Eastern country where peaceful protests challenged a long-ruling authoritarian regime—providing the template for the Arab Spring that spread to Egypt and beyond. Since then, the country’s transition has been notably less tumultuous than those of others in the region. After an initial period of instability, Tunisia has been largely free of serious violence and social unrest.
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