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Tunisia, Saudi Arabia

The vote is complete in Tunisia!  While the actual results are not yet known, the election was completed with high voter participation and few suggestions of cheating or fraud.  This Al Jazeera article is a good primer for when the actual percentages of votes are announced.  Essentially, Ennahda is going to be the big winner, as was expected by the time voting began.  However the scale of the victory, as well as the results of which other parties did well, will be critical in understanding what the commission that will be tasked with creating a new constitution, temporary governance, and holding presidential and parliamentary elections will look like.

Meanwhile, the New York Times has an interesting article posted on the potential new Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.  An excerpt:

“Nayef is widely seen as a hard-line conservative who at best is lukewarm to King Abdullah’s reform initiatives,” said an October 2009 American diplomatic cable that was obtained via WikiLeaks. “However, it would be more accurate to describe him as a conservative pragmatist convinced that security and stability are imperative to preserve Al Saud rule and ensure prosperity for Saudi citizens.” The cable goes on to describe his multifaceted personality as “elusive, ambiguous, pragmatic, unimaginative, shrewd and outspoken.”

The article discusses how, in his position as Interior Minister, Prince Nayef has played an instrumental role in political arrests and enforcing Saudi crackdowns.  There wasn’t much in the article about his relationship with America though, except that back in 2001 Prince Nayef bought in to the conspiracy theory that 9/11 was a plot orchestrated by either the Muslim Brotherhood or Israel.


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