From the Summary: "A decade after a popular uprising in Tunisia set off the 'Arab Spring,' Tunisia's ability to sustain the sole democratic political system to emerge from that wave of regional unrest is now in question. On July 25, 2021, amid political gridlock and economic and health crises, President Kaïs Saïed unilaterally dismissed the prime minister and suspended parliament. He then asserted the right to rule by decree and an intent to amend the constitution and electoral law. Saïed's assertion of sweeping executive powers has fueled uncertainty about the future of Tunisia's democracy, which successive U.S. Administrations and Congress have sought to foster. Tunisian reactions to the president's actions have varied amid shared concerns about economic suffering, partisan infighting, police abuses, and the dismissed prime minister's ineffective response to an acute wave of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in mid-2021. Polls suggest that President Saïed remains popular, particularly in comparison to his political opponents. In September and October, thousands of Tunisians turned out in rival protests for and against the president. It is unclear whether Tunisia is likely to return to a democratic political system, move further into presidential authoritarianism, or experience greater instability if the economy worsens and tensions among political factions escalate."
CRS Report for Congress, RS21666
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/