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Tunisian Bloggers Analyse Election Results

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By Monia Ghanmi

With talks under way to form Tunisia’s first democratic government, bloggers are discussing the ramifications of the country’s historic Constituent Assembly vote.

The blog “El Millonario” sharply criticised Ennahda’s election victory, saying the party made claims of moderation while pursuing “policies that brought together the monopoly of religious discourse directed at groups of people impoverished and ignorant under the two previous times of rule under the title of ‘returning to the right path and reform of the religion of Tunisians’, as if these people had continued on the right course and Ennahda has guardianship over the belief of any one of us.”

The blogger went on to claim that the party benefited “political money of an unknown source in organising weddings, circumcisions and barbecues and the promise to take care of Eid expenses”.

The blogger argued that Ennahda’s post-election goal was not to seize ministries of sovereignty, such as interior and defence, but rather to dominate the ministries of education and culture, because its long-term goal, according to the blogger, is based on subjugating the mind in order to produce “domesticated generations”, as is the case in the reactionary parts of the region.

“It has become imperative for us to unite and to wake up, lest we one day find ourselves in the midst of religious fascism we may never be able to get rid of,” the blogger said.

According to blogger “Bent El Hanchir”, Tunisians are not at ease after the election because they are desperate for concrete guarantees – not promises – especially after the practices surfaced threatening personal freedoms.

“How many feel bitter today, because a segment of society seems condemned, in appearance, which was suffering from persecution during the time of the fugitive’s rule of the country and living in the shadows, and afraid of shadows,” the blogger said. “And after the revolution, Tunisia’s free revolution, here are groups of them practicing the persecution that was practiced against them, wanting to impose behavioural patterns on another segment of society with the use of violence.”

The blog placed responsibility for what happens on Ennahda as election victors, demanding guarantees and steering clear of promises.

Commentator Mohamed Hammar wrote in “Third Ijtihad” that the election showed the shallowness of thought of the so-called left in Tunisia, despite the importance of left-wing personalities that ran in the elections. The blog said the loss suffered by the leftist parties was justified because they did not understand history and made religious forces a political straw man.

“The most dangerous thing is this ideology blaming Islam as hostile to the leftist struggle, and this is the height of ignorance, as Islam is a religion of the right, the left and the centre. Indeed, Islam is a religion true to the health of the leftist struggle,” Hammar wrote.

On the other hand, blogger “Bel Fallagi” writing at Afek Tounes criticised political parties that won the elections under the headline, “Voters shake the valley, and representatives say the government is a harvest”.

The commentator said that the parties were indifferent to the human and material losses left by the floods in several cities in Tunisia and they disregarded the damage suffered by citizens. The blogger wrote that the region was the metaphor of the gate that was and still is sinking after a valley was just flooded.

“The largest problem is that people gave their votes and people won seats of the Constituent Assembly. And as usual, nobody remembers them or looks at them,” Bel Fallagi said.

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