Rumors are again circulating regarding the health of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, sparking discussions of potential replacements and their necessary qualifications.
The presence and influence of the Islamic State continues to spread in the civil war chaos of post-Qaddafi Libya, inserting itself into an already messy conflict between the rival Operation Dignity and Operation Dawn.
After successful elections, Tunisia forges ahead with its political transition, with speculations that the country’s two main political parties—the staunchly secular Nidaa Tounes and the Islamist Ennahda—are moving towards reconciliation.
By inserting divisive rhetoric into the political debate and exploiting an increasingly polarized populace, Tunisian presidential candidates Beji Caid Essebsi and Moncef Marzouki are both helping to undermine the democratic institutions and culture they so vehemently claim to support.
The roller coaster on which Arab countries have ridden since the 2011 uprisings has given a particularly rough ride to indigenous human rights organizations. Embattled since their founding in the 1980s and 1990s, and often accused of carrying out foreign agendas, groups in several countries are now fighting for their very existence.
Despite the challenges faced, the 2014 parliamentary elections were a landmark in the history of Tunisia and a step in the right direction as the country embarks on its journey toward democratization.
Nearly four years into its transition, Tunisia has successfully navigated multiple political crises, produced a constitution, and staged successful parliamentary elections. The country exemplifies that democracy can be successful in the Arab world.
The upcoming Tunisian parliamentary elections have different implications for the two main parties contesting the vote. For Ennahda, the goal is to solidify its standing as Tunisia’s central political actor while for Nidaa Tounes, a win is necessary to remain politically viable.