The first round for the presidential elections on November 23rd went relatively smoothly as well. However, the results were rather surprising. While the "Nida Tunis" candidate, Beji Caïd-Sebsi, garnered slightly over 39%, the current president, Moncef Marzouki, managed to get 33% of the votes. As the pre-election polls had shown him at less than 2%, one can only conclude that the religious party threw their weight behind him since they did not have a candidate in the running.
The run-off elections would be December 14th, if nobody contested the results of the first round. However, Marzouki registered 7 complaints at the last minute of the 3-day filing limit in a bid to buy time (sore looser). This now has to go to court. Elections will be no later than December 28th.
In the meantime, the country sinks into limbo as there is no real governmental authority in this transition period. The school where I teach reflects the state of the country--it feels like we're on the edge of chaos. I can't remember having such a difficult teaching job. And yet, students and teachers keep plugging along with a certain amount of courage...
Sometimes I wonder if my work isn't a direct reflection of my distressed environment. I have coveted a jeans bag for a long time and so made one from a tall stack of old jeans that I can't bear to throw out. I love working on the soft blue and white of the old fabric. I stitch from the top and only catch the upper threads, so the denim is not tedious to work.
It's looking like Tunisia's future--entangled.