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Extremist threat hangs over key Tunisia elections


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270428-extremist-threat-hangs-over-key-tunisia-elections.ashx#axzz3Cs64Tp6TDaily Star/AP:

Bouazza Ben Bouazza| Associated Press

Sep. 12, 2014

 

TUNIS: When masked gunmen started pounding on the door last week, politician Mohammad al-Nasri leapt from the second-floor window into a neighbor’s home. It was more than just an isolated case of political violence. Coming weeks before crucial elections, it underscored how vulnerable democracy is in the cradle of the Arab Spring.

 

Tunisia was the first country to overthrow its dictator in the 2011 Arab Spring, and now it’s the last one to keep its democratic flame alive. The October parliamentary elections and the November presidential ballot are meant to complete the North African nation’s democratic transition – but it’s a troubled process overshadowed by the threat of terror, a struggling economy and a deeply divided political class.

 

Days after the attempt on Nasri’s life, police announced the arrest of 12 men suspected of planning attacks on the elections. The incidents follow a warning issued by the prime minister at the start of the month that terrorists were seeking to torpedo the elections. Now reservists have been called up to secure the polling stations for the Oct. 26 parliamentary and Nov. 23 presidential contests

 

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