The New York Times quotes Rafik Hariri Center Senior Fellow Amy Hawthorne on recent parliamentary elections in Tunisia:
The Muslim world has a lot to learn from Tunisia. Even before the official results of the country’s parliamentary elections were revealed this week, Rachid Ghannouchi, the leader of the Islamist party Ennahda, telephoned Beji Caid Essebsi, the leader of the secular party Nidaa Tounes, and congratulated him.
The final tally showed Nidaa Tounes with 85 seats and Ennahda with 69. Amy Hawthorne of the Atlantic Council, who observed the voting, said it had a “real feeling of openness, transparency and inclusivity” and minimal irregularities. This kind of transition — a peaceful and broadly accepted democratic election in which defeat is gracefully accepted — stands in contrast to the upheavals elsewhere since the Arab Spring, including the brutal military coup that overthrew President Mohamed Morsi in Egypt and the wars raging in Syria, Yemen and Libya.