Over the past two years Forward Thinking has worked with Tunisian politicians from across the political spectrum to facilitate a dialogue process inclusive of different parties and aimed at helping them to reach sufficient consensus on the key issues that would enable the country to function more effectively. Sunday’s vote marks an important milestone provided that the elected leaders recognize the need for compromise, inclusiveness and consensus are essential if the country is to move forward.
Tunisia needs a government capable of creating a more inclusive political environment that is essential if the demands of the electorate are to be met.
The country’s youth, who led the revolution in 2011, need to see their politicians respond to their needs and create the conditions for a better future in which they can fulfill their potential, and channel their energies effectively. The pressing priorities for the newly elected government, therefore, should include job creation, sustainable economic growth, and good governance. There is a need for at least 7% annual growth to begin tackling long-term unemployment.
The political transition from the Ben Ali period is far from complete. Tunisia will require increased assistance from the international community in order to address its enormous economic challenges which otherwise will threaten its political stability.
Regional instability also risks undermining what has been achieved to date. The international community should act to insulate Tunisia from the current crises in Libya and elsewhere.