What should the US/EU do to help restore democracy in Tunisia?

President Kais Saied is preparing to organize a referendum on July 25 (in 2 months) on as-yet unknown and undisclosed “constitution” to be written by an as-yet unknown and unannounced committee to be appointed solely by KS. The elections will be organized under the supervision of an electoral commission “hand-picked” by Kais Saied himself after he dissolved the independent commission ISIE and replaced the law governing the ISIE (by presidential decree).

The US has been trying to convince Kais Saied to change course and restore democracy and respect the constitution since last July, but so far, he is not listening and is moving forward with imposing his vision and his new constitution, which will enshrine one-man rule for years and perhaps decades to come. What should the US/EU do to signal their displeasure in a more forceful and clear way?


Sharan Grewal
Assistant Professor of Government at the College of William & Mary,nonresident fellow at the Brookings Institution, and nonresident senior fellow at the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED).

Shadi Hamid
Senior fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings, and an assistant research professor of Islamic studies at Fuller Seminary. 

Larry Diamond 
Director of the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) at Stanford's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI). 

Sarah Yerkes
Senior fellow in Carnegie’s Middle East Program, where her research focuses on Tunisia’s political, economic, and security developments as well as state-society relations in the Middle East and North Africa. 

 Q & A