April 4, 2012
April 4, 2012
A poll conducted in Tunisia revealed that Tunisians are generally not satisfied with the performance of the Islamist-oriented al-Nahda government which they accuse of not achieving the goals of the revolution that overthrew the regime of Zein al-Abedine bin Ali.
According to the poll, 86 percent of the participants in the poll said that the government failed in solving the unemployment problem while 70 percent thought it was unable to fight corruption and bribery. According to 90 percent, the government did nothing about soaring prices and 70 percent argued that the Tunisian people have become more divided after the government came to power.
The results of the poll, however, were contested by several analysts who argued that participants are not in any way representative of the Tunisian people.
“Only 1,000 out of 11 million from all 24 provinces took part in the poll,” Salem al-Abyad, professor of political psychology at the University of Tunisia, told Al Arabiya.
Abyad argued that this poll does not aim at gauging the general inclination of the Tunisian people in a scientific and objective way, but is rather an attempt to influence public opinion vis-à-vis the performance of the government.
“In addition, the system of evaluating the performance of a government 100 days after coming to power could be applicable in old democracies and not new ones like Tunisia.”
Tunisia, Abyad added, requires more time to achieve full democracy.
“We are still in the transitional stage.”
Professor of political science Abdul Majod al-Abdali seconded this opinion and argued that traditional evaluation standards cannot be applied to Tunisia.
“This government inherited a problematic legacy and it needs to be given a chance,” he said.
The situation in Tunisia, Abdali noted, is extremely critical and that is why initiatives that would cause divisions should be avoided at the moment.
“National harmony is vital now.”
The Tunisian government approved a complementary budget to be discussed by the end of this week in the Constituent Assembly.
The total amount of the new budget amounts to one billion Tunisian dinars (16 billion U.S. dollars), 7.7 percent more than the previous one, insider government sources told Al Arabiya.
According to the draft budget, a growth rate of 3.5 percent is expected.
Tunisians have been divided over the performance of the new government since it came to power on October 23, which is basically attributed to the tension between Islamists and secularists.
In an attempt to resolve the crisis, leader of al-Nahda Movement Rashed al-Ghannouchi announced that Tunisia’s post-revolution constitution will not mention Islamic laws as the main source of legislation. This statement created a great deal of division amongst Tunisians, yet was also met with strong support from a sizable portion of Ghannouchi’s critics and supporters.
In the coming few days, the Tunisian government is expected to set a date for the upcoming elections and to establish an independent committee to supervise them.
The elections are expected to take part on May 20, 2013, government sources told Al Arabiya.
By Al Arabiya