2021-07-31:Leaders 如何化解突尼斯危机

Relighting a beacon of democracy重燃民主之灯

The way out of Tunisia’s crisis 如何化解突尼斯危机

A new national dialogue is needed to repair a broken system 需开启新的全国对话,修复破损体系。

Jul 28th 2021 |

THERE IS BUT one success story to come out of the Arab spring. Among the countries that toppled dictators a decade ago, only Tunisia emerged as a full democracy. Its free and fair elections, featuring Islamists and secularists, free-marketeers and communists, stand out in a region littered with despots. Liberals consider it a beacon of hope: if democracy could flourish in Tunisia, why not in the rest of the Arab world?

“阿拉伯之春”中只有一个成功案例。在十年前推翻了独裁者的一众国家中,只有突尼斯实现了全面民主。其选举自由且公平,既包括伊斯兰主义者,也包括世俗主义者,自由市场主义者和共产主义者,这使突尼斯在这个独裁者遍布的地区中显得独树一帜。自由派将其视为希望明灯:如果民主能在突尼斯开花结果,为什么不能在阿拉伯世界的其他地方呢?

Tunisians don’t see their country as much of a model. Ten governments in ten years have failed to curb graft, improve services or create jobs. The most recent one, led by Hichem Mechichi, struggled to deal with one of Africa’s worst outbreaks of covid-19. On July 25th tens of thousands of Tunisians, braving the heat and defying a lockdown, protested against his inept administration. That night President Kais Saied suspended parliament and seized power.

突尼斯人却不认为自己的国家是什么典范。十年内十届政府都没能遏制腐败,改善公共服务或创造就业岗位。最近一届由希沙姆·迈希希(Hichem Mechichi)领导的政府,正在竭力应对非洲最严重的一次新冠疫情爆发。7月25日,数万名突尼斯人,冒着酷暑,不顾封锁,游行抗议政府无能。当晚总统凯斯·赛义德暂停了议会,夺取了国家控制权。

What a shame that it has come to this. Mr Saied was elected two years ago as a rebuke to the political class. He is popular, in large part because he has no political experience. Many Tunisians celebrated his power grab, hoping that he would clean things up. Yet democracy is a fragile thing and Mr Saied is treating it roughly. His claim to be acting in line with the law rings hollow. Large parts of parliament have rejected his actions, some calling them a “coup”. Already facing economic and health crises, Tunisia now faces a constitutional one as well.

事情发展到这个地步,实在令人扼腕。两年前,赛义德作为对政治阶层的一种反驳,当选总统。他非常受欢迎,主要是因为他毫无政治经验。突尼斯人纷纷庆祝其成功夺权,希望他能肃清混乱局面。然而民主何其脆弱,赛义德待之又是何其粗暴。他声称自己是按法律行事,听来苍白无力。议会大部分成员反对其所为,有些人称之为“政变”。除了面临经济和健康危机之外,突尼斯现在还面临着一场宪法危机。

This is not the first time its nascent democracy has been pushed to the brink. Secular and Islamist forces faced off in 2013-14 after two political assassinations. Tunisia’s leaders, urged on by labour unions and civil-society groups, eventually hashed out compromises that saved the system. Since then, though, unemployment has remained high and corruption rife. As in other countries, the coronavirus has added a new layer of instability. Many Tunisians are nostalgic for the period before the revolution, when there was at least the perception of order under Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, the last dictator.

这也不是第一次,突尼斯的新生民主制度被逼到存亡边缘。2013-14年间,发生了两次政治暗杀事件后,世俗势力与伊斯兰势力陷入对峙。突尼斯领导人,在工会和民间社会团体的敦促下,最终达成妥协,挽救了民主体系。然而自那以后,失业率居高不下,腐败蔓生。如在其他国家一样,新冠病毒又增加了新的不稳定性。很多突尼斯人开始怀念革命前的岁月,那时在最后一个独裁者扎因•阿比丁•本•阿里(Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali)治下,至少还有一种秩序感。

However, Ben Ali also left Tunisians angry and despondent (even as he tortured dissidents and plundered the state). A replacement strongman is not the answer to Tunisia’s problems. Does Mr Saied hope to become one? The former law professor strikes many as incorruptible, but also unyielding. Under the constitution, he can suspend parliament for a maximum of 30 days, yet he says he may wait “until the situation settles down”. He has barred public gatherings of more than three people. The police in Tunis have raided Al Jazeera, a media outlet seen as sympathetic to the Islamists of Ennahda, the biggest party in parliament. None of this bodes well for Tunisian democracy.

然而,本·阿里也让突尼斯人感到愤怒和绝望(就在他酷刑折磨持异见人士,中饱私囊之时)。换个铁腕人物取而代之并不是突尼斯问题的解决之道。赛义德是否希望成为铁腕继任?很多人都觉得这位前法律教授不仅刚正不阿,而且坚贞不屈。根据宪法,他最多能暂停议会30天,但是,他却宣布可能要“等到局势稳定后”再恢复议会活动。他已下令禁止三人以上的公众集会。突尼斯警察突袭了半岛电视台,因为这家媒体被认为对议会最大党伊斯兰复兴运动党持同情态度。以上种种行为对突尼斯民主都极为不利。

Mr Saied makes no secret of wanting radical reform of the political system. To begin with, he would like the president to have more power and to get rid of parties and some elections. Such is the dismal state of Tunisia that no idea should be dismissed. But even if he has the solutions to the country’s political problems, Mr Saied will struggle to implement them alone. Supporters of Ennahda, which styles itself “Muslim democratic”, will not roll over. Nor will the other parties pushed aside by the president, who is an independent.

赛义德并不掩饰自己欲对政治制度进行彻底改革的想法。首先,他希望总统能拥有更多权力,撤除一些政党和选举。突尼斯的现状糟糕透顶,对任何想法都不应轻易否定。但即使赛义德能解决国家的政治问题,也很难独自将之付诸实施。自称为“穆斯林民主”的复兴运动党的支持者们不会乖乖就范。其他遭到总统排挤的党派也不会轻易放弃,总统本人则是一名无党派人士,背后无任何党派支持。

Many Tunisians blame Ennahda for their country’s ills. But Rachid Ghannouchi, its leader and the Speaker of parliament, helped Tunisia through the crisis in 2013-14 by joining a national dialogue and working with Beji Caid Essebsi, a rival at the time. To his credit, Mr Ghannouchi is again being pragmatic. Ennahda has called on its supporters to leave the streets and suggested a new national dialogue. Mr Saied should take up its offer.

很多突尼斯人把国家弊病都归咎于伊斯兰复兴运动党。然而正是复兴党主席及议会发言人拉希德·加努希(Rachid Ghannouchi),通过参与全国对话,并与当时的对手贝吉·凯德·埃塞卜西(Beji Caid Essebsi)合作,帮助突尼斯化解了2013-14年的危机。值得称赞的是,加努希再次表现得非常务实。复兴运动党已呼吁其支持者离开街头,建议开启新的全国对话。赛义德应采纳其建议。

Western democracies ought to lend their support. Over the past decade countries such as America and France, Tunisia’s former colonial master, have done relatively little to keep the only true Arab democracy on track. More aid would certainly help. In a sense, the West must outbid Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which have opposed the Arab spring. Yet in response to Mr Saied’s actions, America has merely expressed concern.

西方民主国家应施以援手。过去十年间,美国和法国等国家,作为突尼斯前殖民宗主国,在帮助这个唯一真正民主国家走上正轨这方面,几乎无所作为。给予更多援助肯定是有益的。从某种意义上说,西方国家必须要比沙特阿拉伯和阿联酋更胜一筹,它们都曾反对“阿拉伯之春”革命。但是对于赛义德的所作所为,美国仅仅表示关注。

Ultimately, though, the responsibility for fixing Tunisia falls on its leaders. Painful reforms are needed to bring down big deficits and attract investment. Politicians have squandered a decade by taking, at best, half-measures. Tunisians are right to be angry, but they should not give up on democracy. Rather, when their leaders fail, they should vote them out. ■

解决突尼斯问题的责任最终仍将落在其领导人身上。必需进行痛苦的改革以减少巨额赤字,吸引投资。但政客们总是只采取权宜之计,而浪费了十年时光。突尼斯人有理由感到愤怒,但不应放弃民主。实际上,若其领导人做不到这点,人民就应把他们选下台去。

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