Sunday, October 23, 2011

In Tunisia, Where It All Began...

Like most of those who live in rural Tunisia, the people of Souassi have long been excluded from political and social life, and young people here have little chance of finding work.

Today, they are being introduced to democracy by loudspeakers blasting "I like to move it move it, move it" and "My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard".


Ah, Democracy.

The Free Patriotic Union (UPL by its French acronym) was created by a group of Tunisian businessmen who have lived abroad for years without much previous involvement in politics. The party has resources that few of Tunisia's longstanding opposition groups can match. It has outspent every other party in advertising.

Ah, Democracy.

Its extensive resources have been used to run a campaign reaching out to the country's most marginalised areas, promising investment and job opportunities.


There are some 81 parties running for Tunisia's constituent assembly, yet only two have the resources needed for nationwide penetration on the campaign trail: the UPL and the moderate Islamist party, al-Nahda.

Ah, Democracy.

....but hey, do what you will anyway.

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