HomeOpinion (Page 38)

Opinion

Olin_L_Wethington

By Olin L. Wethington

Tunis – On December 21, Tunisia completed a remarkable democratic transfer of power, with the election of Beji Caid Essebsi, the leader of the secular political party Nidaa Tounes (Call of Tunisia). As with the parliamentary election in October, the process of choosing a president was, for the most part, fair and free of violence.

For the moment, Tunisia is the only Arab Spring country that appears to be on a path to genuine democratic governance. Since the ouster of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011, the country has endured pressures from Islamic radicals, a deterioration of its economy, and a chaotic transitional period. But it has also written and adopted a new constitution structured to encourage the separation and balance of powers, and it seems on track to pull off a successful change in government.

Shahid_Javed_Burki

By Shahid Javed Burki

Lahore – On December 16, the Taliban attacked an army school in Peshawar and killed 132 children and nine adults. Eight terrorists dressed in military uniform penetrated the school’s well-guarded perimeter and opened fire on the students and school personnel. Pakistani army commandos fought the intruders for several hours before killing the last attacker.

By Chris Patten London – It is a rare political speech that stops me in my tracks. But that is exactly what happened this summer when I read a remarkable address by Viktor Orbán, Hungary’s increasingly authoritarian prime minister. Orbán rarely commands attention outside of his country.