Historic departure or temporary marriage? The Left–Islamist alliance in Tunisia

Prof. Bruce Maddy-Weitzman writes of the Left-Islamic alliance in Tunisia following the 'Arab Spring'.

Tunisia's “Revolution of Dignity” lit the spark for the tsunami of popular protests, the misnamed “Arab Spring” that engulfed the region in 2010–11. A central aspect of Tunisia's ongoing transition has been an alliance between the Islamist Ennahda party and two leading secular-left-of-center parties, which came together after the October 2011 Constituent Assembly elections to form a broad-based interim government until the completion of a new constitution and new elections in 2013. This alliance carries the potential for fashioning of the first genuinely democratic polity in the Arab world. Whether or not the alliance will manage to surmount the obstacles posed by the inherent tension between the Islamist and secular-modern currents remains to be seen.