Will Tunisia continue its democratic march?
Tunisians head to the polls on Sunday amid fears that voters have lost confidence in the country’s quest for democracy.
Tunis – Vocal Tunisian activist and political blogger Emir Sfaxi fears that his compatriots are losing steam in the country’s quest to build a vibrant democracy, which began when a popular uprising ousted former President Zine El Abdine Ben Ali in January 2011.
“We feel like civil society is losing energy,” Sfaxi, 26, told Al Jazeera.”But now with elections coming up this is the most important time to get involved. Many Tunisians are afraid for the future.”
Tunisians are scheduled to cast ballots for the legislative elections on October 26, which will decide the country’s first-ever democratically-elected parliament.
Sfaxi says that the “crucial importance of this period” motivates him in his work as vice president at JID-Tunisie (Young Independent Democrats of Tunisia), a nonprofit organisation that encourages electoral participation and advocates for greater youth involvement in public and political life.
When revolution spread rapidly across Tunisia more than three and a half years ago, Sfaxi, a part-time computer programmer and university student, at the time, took part in demonstrations on a nearly daily basis.
“We were organising on Facebook and other social media, calling for demonstrations,” he remembered, sitting in a café in Menzah Nine, a prominent neighborhood in the capital.”We were using fake online accounts to avoid repercussion.”