The year 2011 left a new Middle East in its wake. People power has toppled powerful authoritarian regimes in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. What will emerge out of the so-called Arab Spring remains to be seen though. While celebrating the first anniversary of their “revolutions” Tunisians and Egyptians are still far from certain about the prospect for a consolidated democracy in their respective countries.
However, despite some skepticism expressed here and there democratic experimentation has already started in the post-revolutionary Tunisia and Egypt with elections taking place without claims of fraud. The results have confirmed the expectations that pro-Islamic political parties would perform well at the ballot box. In Tunisia the Ennahda, led by Rashid Ghannushi, and in Egypt the Freedom and Justice Party, an offspring of the Muslim Brotherhood, both received around 40 per cent of the votes, well ahead of their opponents.