Tunisia’s Islamist government agrees to resign
posted at 10:17 am on September 28, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
Tunisia was the birthplace of the Arab Spring, but had been largely ignored over the last two years as Libya collapsed after a Western intervention and Egypt and Syria tottered. Despite being the most Westernized of the Arab Spring countries, the successor Islamist government to the Ben-Ali dictatorship turned into a nightmare for Tunisians, complete with political assassinations and the same kind of drive to impose shari’a standards on a more cosmopolitan population.
After a major union threatened a nationwide strike, the Islamists have thrown in the towel:
Tunisia’s governing Islamist party has agreed to step down following negotiations with opposition parties that begin next week.
A spokesman for the main labor union said months of talks with the Islamist-led government had finally reached an agreement Saturday. Bouali Mbarki of the UGTT union said the deal calls for three weeks of negotiations to appoint an interim, non-partisan government.
Tunisia has endured more than two years of turmoil, worsened by the assassination of a leading opposition figure in July.
Perhaps the Tunisians can turn back the Islamist tide in North Africa, but don’t be surprised if al-Qaeda and its affiliates attempt to force a return to Islamist control.