EPC | 07 Sep 2021
On September 8, 2021, the Moroccan legislative elections will be held to elect the occupants of 395 seats in the House of Representatives through a direct secret ballot. These elections are expected to result in a new government with a busy agenda. It will have to deal with many complex issues, domestic and regional. The significant adverse repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic on Morocco’s public health and the economy would be the biggest challenge. The country’s recurring spats with neighboring countries, Algeria and Spain, have also cast a shadow over the elections.
On the other hand, regional instability experienced by the Maghreb countries imposes a problematic reality on Morocco. The future of the political process seems ambiguous in Libya and Tunisia. Furthermore, successive changes in the leadership of Algeria’s military and security establishments and the persistent discontent among large segments of the Algerian youth suggest that the domestic situation there is still far from stable.
Ahmed Nadhif | 06 Sep 2021
Tunisian President Kais Saied issued a presidential order extending the exceptional measures to suspend the Assembly of the Representatives (the Parliament) until further notice and lifted the parliamentary immunity of all its members. This was an extension of the decision Saied made on July 25, 2021, freezing the legislative authority for 30 days.
Saied’s latest move ended the period of anticipation that the country and political forces were experiencing. It also triggered speculation over his next steps and those of his opponents in the Islamist Ennahda (Renaissance) Movement party, which has witnessed organizational changes coinciding with the political transformation taking place in the country.
This paper examines President Saied’s motives for extending the duration of the exceptional measures and the positions of the political forces. It also sheds light on the transformations experienced by the Ennahda Movement, the President’s strongest opponent, and anticipates the future paths of the political crisis in Tunisia.
Ahmed Nadhif | 19 Aug 2021
Shock waves continue to reverberate throughout Tunisia’s political spectrum following President Kais Saied’s far-reaching moves on July 25th. The removal of senior state officials and the appointment of others still occur on a daily basis. Yet it remains difficult for anyone to foresee the president's next move. Despite all this uncertainty, the steps taken by President Saied remain the most radical in Tunisian political life since the ouster of former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011. These moves will have profound repercussions on Tunisia’s politics, its political system, and especially on the president’s Islamist opponents, namely, the Ennahda movement. This paper sheds light on the implications of President Saied's actions for the Ennahda movement, analyzes the movement's reactions, and dives into the dynamics of an internal conflict within this Islamist party.
EPC | 08 Aug 2021
Dealing with loyalists of the former Qaddafi regime remains a major problem in efforts to settle the conflict in Libya peacefully. This includes tribes and key figures loyal to the former regime, including Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and second-rank figures who held leadership positions in pre-2011 Libya. This paper sheds light on the approaches to dealing with the loyalists of the former Gaddafi regime, indications of an imminent reintroduction of Saif al-Islam, the son of the former Libyan leader, to the political process, and the position of the parties to the conflict on it. It also explores the main paths through which Saif al-Islam may return to Libya's politics in the future.
Ahmed Nadhif | 21 Jun 2021
On 22 May 2021, the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Libya Jan Kubis warned the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) that progress on the main issue of withdrawing mercenaries and foreign fighters from Libya had stalled, and that their continued presence posed a threat not only to Libya, but to the entire African region. This warning brought back to the fore the dilemma of mercenaries in Libya, after months of optimism in the wake of the political agreement that ended years of war, and stipulated in one of its clauses the need for all foreign forces to leave the country within 90 days. This paper sheds light on the issue of mercenaries in Libya, first by defining the map of foreign irregular armed forces in the country, and secondly by analysing the political and security repercussions of the presence of those mercenaries, both at the internal and regional levels, as well as trying to anticipate future paths for the development of this dilemma.
Ahmed Nadhif | 17 May 2021
On 23 April 2021, during a speech before the Italian House of Representatives, Libyan Foreign Minister Najla al-Mangoush announced that her country has contacted several countries to negotiate the removal of foreign fighters, which brought back to the forefront the discussion about the fate of those foreign fighters, how their countries of origin would deal with them, and the risks of their return, given that this return constitutes an increasing threat after it has been proved that some of those involved in terrorist acts in many countries are in fact returnee foreign fighters.
Tunisia was one of the countries included in this discussion, given that Tunisians account for a significant portion of the foreign fighters in Libya, as well as in Syria, considering that a large part of the Tunisian fighters currently in Libya have been active in the Syrian arena between 2012 and 2018.
This paper attempts to analyse the development of the phenomenon of Tunisian fighters returning from hotbeds of tension, its extent, and its implications, while examining the contexts of this return and its various impacts and challenges, internally and externally, and shedding light on the Tunisian government policies in dealing with the phenomenon of returning fighters and assessing its results.
Ahmed Nadhif | 13 Feb 2021
On 16 January 2021, Tunisian Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi announced a cabinet reshuffle which included 11 ministerial portfolios, including the ministries of justice and the interior. Afterwards, the country fell into a constitutional-political crisis after President Qais Saied refused to receive the new ministers who were chosen by Mechichi to take the oath after gaining Parliament’s confidence on 26 January 2021, on the grounds of suspicions of corruption and conflict of interests hovering around some of them. The Tunisian President also announced his objection to the measures that accompanied the reshuffle because, in his opinion, they lack a constitutional basis.
Bilal Abdullah | 21 Jan 2021
After weeks of the stalemate which followed the failure to reach a consensus among the participants in the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF), held in November and December 2020, over the mechanisms for selecting government office holders, as well as the faltering attempts to unify the divided parliament, the political settlement talks in Libya were resumed at the beginning of 2021, in conjunction with some regional and international moves in support of preserving the existing ceasefire. On the other hand, serious indications emerged of the presence of a large-scale military build-up. Those indications are mutually accumulating on both sides of the conflict, in addition to the occurrence of low-intensity clashes, coinciding with an escalation of rhetoric by the military parties to the conflict.