Tunisians Gear Up for the Polls

Ayman and Ghada met on Jan. 14, he says he fell in love with her because she was revolting, like him.

She is a supporter of Al-Nahda party, which he belongs to.
He doesn’t hide from her the fact that he would like it if she would cover her hair, but he will not impose it, he says.

Another matter he doesn’t hide is his excitement to see Al-Nahda in power…but though he is confident that his party will be the biggest winner in the coming elections, Ayman can’t hide some disappointment because of what he calls the marginalization of the revolution’s youth.

Ayman ben Ammar a blogger said “As a Tunisian I can vote for the elections. However, we don’t all agree with all the ideas and political reforms. We are going to fight against anyone who wants to stop the revolution.”

Aymanallah, goes further, the activist and author of some of the most popular Tunisian facebook pages believes that the chances of young candidates in the coming elections are dim, despite the fact that over 56 percent of candidates are below the age of 40.

Because he says the electoral law gives priority to the top names on the lists, and those in their big majority are from the older generation.

“I think my participation in the elections as an active volunteer can positively affect the first Elections in the country. However it is not easy for the youth to influence the elections. I therefore decided to observe with others and realize all our goals,” Aymanallah Al Mansoury a facebook activist said.

Aymanallah has been arrested three times in the post revolution era. His case is far from being unique.

Bassem Bouguerra, an independent civil society activist with a leftist penchant, has been arrested and beaten too.

“The government formed after the youth-made revolution is headed by an 85-year-old minister. You can see a president of 70 or 80 years old. You can see political parties without the participation of the youth with the exception of 2 or 3. The Tunisian political life does not reflect an image of a state that experienced a revolution by its youth,” he said.

It pained him as he says to see the security official responsible for his arrest speak on national TV about the accomplishements of the police in the post revolution stage.

Bassem, who has been for years blogging about Tunisia from the United States where he is employed by yahoo, left everything behind to come and take part in the revolution.

Like Aymanallah, he considered running for elections, but then he changed his mind, he has to go back to work.

As one activist puts it so rightly, the revolution, or the uprising, as the young prefer to call it, may have taken a whole generation from a virtual existence on the internet but only to throw it in the world of political labyrinths, a world that promises much frustration, marginalization and even oppression, for those who don’t know its abcs.

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