A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Friday, October 28, 2011

Sidi Bouzid Erupts After Aridha Chaabia Disqualification

 Sidi Bouzid, the Tunisian town where the Arab Spring began last December, erupted in protests today

after the surprise third-place party, Aridha Chaabia, had nine of its electoral wins cancelled over allegations of campaign financing violations. In Sidi Bouzid, in fact, Aridha was actually running ahead of Al-Nahda. Its leader has called on its remaining winners (it still has about 16 seats that were not invalidated) to withdraw from the Assembly. Meanwhile, the protesters in Sidi Bouzid attacked governnment offices and reportedly tried to burn Nahda headquarters, an unfortunate aftermath to an otherwise remarkably open election. Now there are the usual accusations and conspiracy theories in the air.

For good English coverage of the aftermath and the maneuvering over the interim Presidency (Nahda's Hamadi Jbali is expected to become Prime Minister), as well as the Aridha controversy, tunisia-live.net's Politics pages are a good resource.

Barring something major, I'm signing off for the weekend.

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