— [http://goo.gl/T56PsU] The objective of the “National Dialogue” was to facilitate a peaceful and constructive agreement on a stable transitional government_______________________as an exit to the political crisis that was threatening to derail the democratic transition.

:: RT: ▶ http://goo.gl/T56PsU ◀ The Nobel Peace Prize 2015 awarded to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet | #NobelPrize #Peace #Tunisia #Africa #Quartet

The Nobel Peace Prize Committee handed the award to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet for its "decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in the country in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011." The group is dedicated to creating dialogue between disparate elements of Tunisian society.

The group includes a labor union, a trade confederation, a human rights organization and a lawyers group: 1) Tunisian Confederation of Industry, 2) Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA); 3) Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT); 4) Tunisian Human Rights League (LTHD) and the National Association of Tunisian Lawyers.

"The Quartet was formed in the summer of 2013 when the democratization process was in danger of collapsing as a result of political assassinations and widespread social unrest," the Nobel Committee said in a statement. "It established an alternative, peaceful political process at a time when the country was on the brink of civil war. It was thus instrumental in enabling Tunisia, in the space of a few years, to establish a constitutional system of government guaranteeing fundamental rights for the entire population, irrespective of gender, political conviction or religious belief."

The prize comes nearly five years after an unemployed street vendor set himself on fire, touching off a political earthquake that toppled Tunisia’s longtime authoritarian president and proceeded to reverberate throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

As the Nobel Committee noted Oct. 9th 2015 in its statement, "The Arab Spring originated in Tunisia in 2010-2011, but quickly spread to a number of countries in North Africa and the Middle East. In many of these countries, the struggle for democracy and fundamental rights has come to a standstill or suffered setbacks."

The National Dialogue brings together 1) parties in power, 2) opposition parties PDF ::

Mediating a peaceful and constructive exit out of the crises, PDF - Official Website - BenjaminMadeira

"What Role for Tunisia’s National Dialogue," by Hamadi Redissi, Professor of Public Law and Political Science at the Faculty of Law and Political Science -University of Tunis -Al-Manar PDF ::

What Role for Tunisias National Dialogue, by Hamadi Redissi, Professor of Public Law and Political Science, PDF - Official Website - BenjaminMadeira


• Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet Wins the Nobel Peace Prize 2015.

MP3 — Mohamed Fadhel Mahfoudh, the president of the Tunisian Order of Lawyers; Wided Bouchamaoui, president of the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts; Abdessattar Ben Moussa, the Tunisian Human Rights League president; and Houcine Abassi, secretary general of the Tunisian General Labour Union.

  • Nobel Peace PrizeNobel Peace Prize
    Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet
  • Nobel Peace PrizeNobel Peace Prize
    Nobel Peace Prize

"Tunisia: In and Out" :: This documentary looks into the events that preceded the Tunisian Revolution and examines the reasons behind the people's uprising against Ben Ali, the toppled Tunisian president.

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  1. Mediation Perspectives: The Tunisian National Dialogue

    The adoption of a new Tunisian constitution at the end of January 2014 has been hailed as a major milestone in the country’s democratic transition and a welcome piece of good news amid concerns about the direction of transition processes in other countries in the region.

    From a mediation perspective, the national dialogue process that brought Tunisia to this point is noteworthy for at least two reasons. First, the mediators in this case were insiders with a stake in the outcome. Second, changes in context, beyond the control of either party, significantly altered the strategic calculations of the negotiators and opened the window to an agreement.

    1. A transition in crisis

      On 23 October 2011, Tunisians elected a National Constituent Assembly in the country’s first democratic elections since the January 2011 overthrow of President Zine El Abadine Ben Ali. From these elections, the Islamist movement Ennahda emerged as the largest party and formed a coalition government with two smaller and non-Islamist center-left parties to oversee the transitional period and the process of drafting a new constitution. In response, an opposition bloc formed under the leadership of Nidaa Tounes (Call for Tunisia), a secularist party which was strongly opposed to the government, and to Ennahda in particular.

      In April 2013, under political pressure following the assassination of the Leftist political leader Chokri Belaid, Ennahda agreed to give up control of three key government portfolios (the ministries of interior, defense, and foreign affairs) and to appoint politically “neutral” technocrats to run them. Nonetheless, tensions continued to rise and, following the assassination of Mohamed Brahmi – another Leftist political figure – on 25 July, Tunisia descended into a full-blown political crisis. Protestors took to the street and the opposition began calling for the government’s resignation and the dissolution of the National Constituent Assembly. In a bid to defuse the crisis and seek consensus on a number of controversial questions President Moncif Merzuki called for a national dialogue.

  2. Insider mediators

    Following Merzuki’s call, four groups came forward and were accepted to jointly lead a national dialogue between the Ennahda-led government and the Nidaa Tounes-led opposition. These groups were the Tunisian UGTT labor union, the UTICA business and professional lobby, the Tunisia League for the Defence of Human Rights, and the Lawyers Guild – and came to be known collectively as the ‘Quartet.’

    The Quartet did not conform to the classical model of a neutral external mediator. The UGTT has a long history of playing a role in Tunisian politics, and was itself involved in leading street protests and a general strike in the wake of Brahmi’s assassination in July. Some members of the Quartet were also known to be close to the opposition and, as representatives of different sections of Tunisian society, all Quartet members had a stake in the outcome of the dialogue. For these reasons, Ennahda’s leaders were skeptical that the process could lead to a fair outcome. Initial tentative discussions between the parties and the Quartet therefore focused largely on the Quartet’s own interests in mediating. Only once the Quartet had explicitly acknowledged its own interests could it build trust and the discussions move forward.

    1. Game-changers

      Ultimately, the process would not have succeeded without Ennahda’s engagement and commitment to a positive outcome. What, then, prompted Ennahda to engage, despite its initial skepticism? The answer is that two unforeseeable external events, beyond the control of the political players in Tunisia, ‘changed the game’ for Ennahda: the assassination of Brahmi on 25 July 2013 and the coup d’etat earlier that month which removed the Muslim Brotherhood from power in Egypt.

      These events prompted an internal process of reflection and debate within the party that resulted in the leadership’s decision to become an active participant in the Quartet-facilitated dialogue and to make its success a priority. The party leadership realized that, in the face of significant opposition from within the state and from social elites (including the bureaucracy, the business community, the media, the security services, the universities, and important opinion-makers), relying on the party’s electoral mandate would not be sufficient to avoid the risk of the Egyptian crisis being duplicated in Tunisia.

  3. Conclusion

    Some have cast Ennahda’s decision to opt for consensus and compromise as a defeat for Tunisia’s largest party, suggesting that it was forced to yield to political and popular pressure. Others interpret it as a conscious, laudable decision to put the national interest and the democratic transition before party politics. Still others see it as a pragmatic calculation concerning the party’s long-term interests. Similarly, there are doubtless also many diverse narratives about the motivations behind the Quartet’s role in mediating the crisis.

    Regardless of your analysis, for mediators the case is a reminder of two valuable points. First, understanding the wider context in which the mediation is taking place is essential – as events external to the process will inevitably have repercussions for the process itself. Second, a neutral mediator is not a precondition for a successful mediation. Ultimately, it is the acceptance of the parties concerned, rather than neutrality, that matters.


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