At a rally in opposition to Tunisian President Kais Saied in Tunis, Tunisia, February 2021
Aziz Taher / Reuters

Almost two years ago, I wrote in these pages that the Tunisia model matters because it helped dispel the myth that democracy was not possible in the Arab world. As the countries around it descended into civil war or regressed into authoritarianism, Tunisia held free and fair national and local elections, adopted a liberal-democratic constitution, and witnessed a peaceful transition of power.

Now, however, Tunisia’s nascent democracy faces its greatest challenge yet. Last week, President Kais Saied hijacked the democratic process by freezing the parliament and consolidating executive power into his own hands. Although it is far too early

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