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The National Dialogue, Collusive Transactions and Government Legitimacy in Tunisia


The Tunisian political crisis that started in July 2013 was resolved thanks to the National Dialogue hosted by the Quartet who were recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The ND was a collusive transaction that allowed Ennahdha to escape accountability for its political responsibility. Nevertheless, by resolving the crisis, it generated legitimacy. It also contributed significantly to the current configuration of alliances within the power circle by making possible the alliance between Ennahdha and Nidaa Tounes after the 2014 elections. The mechanisms of mutual recognition between Ennahda and Nidaa Tounes help ensure political stability by reinforcing the government’s position. However, this alliance appears to be a source of delegitimation now that the government is facing many challenges (economic crisis, security crisis and disputed political decisions). The critical situation, particularly at the security level, challenges the idea of compromise and undermines the government’s ability to make the people believe in its legitimacy.
Keywords: Tunisia’s domestic policy; political parties; trade unions; democracy; economy; security

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