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(en) France, La'Mond Liberteir, The Winter Special issue #43 - But where is the revolution in Tunisia? (fr) [machine translation]

Date Mon, 26 Dec 2011 15:42:24 +0200


A year ago, December 17, 2010, a young peddler of Sidi Bouzid, a small town in west central Tunisia, sacrificing himself in public after his goods had been confiscated by the police, leaving him penniless. Immediately, a popular and spontaneous protest would spread throughout Tunisia, driving less than a month later, January 14, 2011, in the fall of President Ben Ali, and his flight with members of the mafia clan . These events triggered while the world a tremendous burst of enthusiasm and sympathy, which is recognized among those who despair of seeing a social movement worthy of the name. And they inspired other Arab countries like Egypt, Libya and Syria. It is no exaggeration to say that this momentum, if not gone, is greatly mitigated. free, so what? The victory of the Islamist party Enahda on October 23, elections for the Constituent Assembly , sounded like an endgame.

However, if we look more closely at the results of these first elections, it's another reading that is asked, different from that peddled by the media: it is not granted discharge to the electoral farce, but the twist neck to the media propaganda about the supposed tidal wave. The media have announced record numbers of participation (90%!), They showed the long queues at polling stations (largely related to the complexity of the voting list and control procedures), but are refrained from giving the actual figures.
The massive campaign to encourage Tunisians register to election resulted in a partial failure: 4.2 million registered only to the extent that the body responsible for overseeing the elections finally opened the elections to any person major with ID 7569000 ... on potential voters, there were 3,702,627 votes, representing a stake of 48.9%: 51.1% of abstainers so! The figure of 90% participation was not taking into account that the registered voter, and not those who were allowed to vote ...

The propaganda very active participation in elections, which joined the mosques in the sermons of imams and the union UGTT, which prohibits strikes during the official campaign, did not prevent the abstainers to arrive well ahead! The apolitical nature, lack of interest but also the distrust may explain this low turnout in a country where elections have been rigged.

The party Enahda collects 38.5% of the votes, representing 18.8% of the electorate: because of the semi-proportional system adopted for this election, this result gives 41% of seats in the Constituent Assembly, 89 of 217 seats. 35.1% of the vote were made ââon small lists that have not reached the threshold for elected officials (magic of the proportional system and the dispersion of lists ...). At 3% almost as much as the votes of Enahda ... All these figures are available on the website of the supervisory body of the Tunisian elections. Sorry for this demonstration grim, but relativized and the famous smoky Islamic tidal wave, you can not find? Proof if any were needed of the futility of the electoral system, which is the yardstick that distributes certificates of good democracy. But in the end, it is Enahda who finds himself in a position decisively, with two secular parties as allies, the Congress for the Republic (CPR), Moncef Marzouki, and the party Ettatakol Mustapha Ben Jaffar: I quote names because these parties are focused on their leaders and mingle with them in the minds of many Tunisians. Despite all reservations, size, made ââbelow, it is a rejection of the old system which was expressed in this vote, the winners are considered to have no dealings with the former regime or participated the former governments. Marzouki, who admittedly has had an exemplary attitude during the dictatorship (he was one of the few secular opponents left to defend the Islamists imprisoned by Ben Ali), finds himself president, with powers well reduced.

The prime minister, skills much more extensive than under the old regime, falls to Hamadi Jebali, secretary general of Enahda. However, we have seen in the long interlude separated the outcome of the election of the announcement of the composition of the government, it is the policy of compromise and negotiations, gaming devices and opaque negotiations , who occupied the center stage political-media. The social question, conspicuously absent The social question remains as hot as it was a year ago or even worse, aggravated by the crisis in Tunisia as , which depends on Europe for much of its economy. In the region of Gafsa, the same causes produce the same effect, unemployed workers and resumed in late November, their strike and blocking the production of phosphate mining. In the weeks and months after January 14, 2011, the strikes have affected all sectors of production, demanding wage increases everywhere, the precarious tenure of personnel or the hiring of unemployed. These uncoordinated movements, looking disparate, sometimes resulted in hiring, particularly in the public service, but have often been called against-productive by the government and the national leadership of the UGTT, who did everything to discredit them, up to accuse the strikers of endangering the revolution! The national leadership of the union is still in place while many of its members are under criminal investigation for corruption proven facts! While the insurgency day of December and January were born in many towns and neighborhoods popular revolutionary committees, who organized the daily life at the height of repression, they have almost all disappeared.

It is these committees are still active in some areas that have rejected the new governors (prefects equivalents) when they belonged to the RCD party of Ben Ali, and who organized the Libyan refugee assistance. There are not many political and trade union sufficiently organized and implemented that are able to bring the social and political demands of the people, and no training Tunisian even listed on the far left, do not say openly opposed to the capitalist system. While the movement in December and January put forward the social and political aspirations, claiming the same breath work, freedom and justice, without any religious references, that the religious party is found to head of a government formed a movement to which he did not participate as such. There is of course is worrying supporters of freedom and secularism. The failure of secular parties is primarily due to their division and their virtual absence of land on which Enahda was able to intervene at will, making propaganda of his past as a martyr of Ben Ali, with 30,000 political prisoners.
But also the fact that the debate on secularism and the role of religion has taken many Tunisians extent that rejected them: the time of Ben Ali, the repression against religious, even political, as was the common people have equated secularism in this repression. And today is the urgent social Enahda has understood that the field has taken tireless social discourse, especially on how charitable and demagogic, with distributions of money and promises to the poor, while so-called leftist parties tore each other in debates inaccessible to common people. unorganized and disorganized the popular movement that led to the fall of Ben Ali was spontaneous and unorganized at first, although very fast sections of union activists local union UGTT have guided and supported events, allowing their rapid spread across the country.

The few opposition parties tolerated time Ben Ali had no popular base and underground parties, such as the Tunisian Communist Workers Party (PCOT) received only a very small audience, outside the region of Gafsa which experienced in 2008 a very strong popular opposition. The flight of the dictator and his mafia clan settled all: it was the only time the interests of the majority of Tunisians have converged before differences Class will reassert themselves. As soon as the deposed dictator turned on his heel, the political barons of the regime did everything to keep control.

The state apparatus, police and administration is widely infiltrated by supporters of the former regime, most of which are first and foremost concerned with preserving their interests, even after a renovation of facade. The strong networks of understanding are always efficient and operate at full capacity, the party RCD has certainly been dissolved, its property confiscated by the state (which was a few weeks ago controlled by people from this party!) but his followers have not vanished: they claim wherever they can, noyautent parties in creating from scratch, some up to join the ranks of their enemy yesterday, Enahda! The owning class is ready to compromise with the Islamists, who have no intention whatsoever to challenge the established economic order. Islamism is soluble in capitalism 's economic program for people who are now in power is mainly to get the economy moving is to say, to revive the production system and to allow capitalists to repeat business. They also look for sources of funds in emerging markets (India, China) and the wealthy Gulf monarchies, including Qatar, who poses as sponsor of Islamist movements in Tunisia and Libya: the new Tunisian Minister of Foreign Affairs is an ex- employee of the international TV channel al Jazeera, the Qatar-based ... Hence the statements after election, seeking to reassure the markets about the intentions of the new masters of Tunisia, and finally, Western governments, which had been so little regard to the dictatorship, are willing to give their support to those only yesterday they ostracized, provided that cases are properly managed. That is to say as they wish, and that the integration of Tunisia in the global market continues smoothly ...

Identity and religion The election campaign was dominated in the media, the debate about Muslim identity Tunisia, with discussions on secularism, virtually unknown and misunderstood concept of the mass of Tunisians. The Islamist Enahda, very cleverly, have been easier to reduce it to atheism, and associate it with the behavior described as anti-religious of the old regime of Ben Ali. The so-called leftist parties have moved away from social issues to s'embringuer in this debate, foreign to the immediate concerns of the majority of the population. Manifestations of Salafist, fundamentalist extremists, including one wonders to what extent they are infiltrated by police elements, opposed to sexual liberation and free expression of opinion by qualified them blasphemous, gave the Islamists "moderate" to Enahda the opportunity to present itself as the best bulwark against the excesses and extremist as the guarantors of a balance.

The official discourse of the leaders is reassuring, especially on the personal status code which gives the Tunisian equal rights, but many fear a double talk and fear that the situation worsens gradually until the re- Because of these rights. Recently, clashes between Salafi elements and secularists have occurred at universities around the issue of wearing the full veil, the niqab, the bearded allowed to want to see the faculty. A rally was held before the left seat of the Constituent Assembly, during its sessions, to lobby MPs: immediately against the protesters, pro-Islamists were involved, up to the clash with the opposite camp. A coming revolution These events show that the political and social situation of Tunisia is far from pacified. The absence of short-term perspective, the disappointment related to the pending unresolved social, the economic crisis are all factors portend continued popular movement: the question is what form it takes. Of Tunisians are getting organized and set up an anarchist movement: indeed, they are ultraminoritaires, but their votes will count in a larger movement that is still in its infancy. For if it is an achievement that must be recognized in this revolution of December 17 is the end of fear. The Tunisian people to at least learned to fight and speak freely, and not to blindly trust those who claim to show the way forward. The seeds of anger are still there: unemployment, job insecurity, poverty, contempt. The revolution has not really started.

Mohamed, Pierre
Besnard group of the Anarchist Federation
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