Why Tunisia needs a new generation of leaders


As Tunisia heads towards its second general election since the fall of the authoritarian regime, filling the generational gap that is pulling an aging ruling elite apart from an increasingly disenchanted youth is becoming crucial in helping to consolidate the country’s young democracy. The 2019 elections could therefore mark a turning point, were the Tunisian political class willing to tackle and address the growing concerns of a generation that is still waiting to reap the fruits of ‘its’ revolution.

With a 92-old President – dean of African rulers and the second oldest world leader – recently discharged from hospital following what has been described as a “severe health crisis”, an ailing Chairman of Parliament (85 years) who has been sick for the last few weeks, and his first vice president (71 years) who collapsed during a parliamentary session, the Arab world’s youngest democracy has lately conveyed a very poor image of its ruling class. With general elections just a few months away, one thing is clear: a renewal of the political elite has become an urgent matter in Tunisia.