Tunis — On the second anniversary of Tunisia's historic elections, the governing coalition may bow to popular pressure and step down.
Thousands of opposition party supporters gathered Wednesday morning (October 23rd) on Avenue Habib Bourguiba in Tunis, ahead of the national dialogue slated to begin later in the day in Bardo.
Mosques are already conducting funeral prayers for the government that failed to "stop the spread of religious extremism," Al-Chorouk quoted Union of Imams head Fadhel Achour as saying Tuesday.
Now, after two years of rule by Ennahda, Ettakatol and the Congress for the Republic, big changes are afoot.
The government is expected to announce its intention to resign, as well as launch talks aimed at ending the country's political impasse.
"Politicians will get together and reach a consensus for Tunisia," Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) head Houcine Abbassi said on the group's Facebook page.
But questions precede the talks about whether the ruling Islamist party will actually fulfil its promises.
"Two years after its creation, the National Constituent Assembly, whose members were elected on October 23, 2011, shows a heavy toll: loss of time, resources and a deputy murdered. This body, which was to adopt a new constitution within a year, failed in its primary mission," Synda Tajine wrote October 21st in a Business News editorial.
Ennahda on Saturday said that the government would resign only after the completion of the constitution. Opposition party Nidaa Tounes countered with a call for Ennahda to stick to the roadmap offered by the UGTT.
The UGTT, the Employers' Organisation, the League for the Defence of Human Rights and the Bar Association last month offered up a plan to resolve the crisis triggered by the assassinations of opposition politicians Chokri Belaid and Mohammed Brahmi.
According to the mediators' roadmap, the national dialogue will lead within one month to the resignation of the government and the formation of a caretaker cabinet of technocrats.
The blueprint also envisages the adoption of a new constitution, electoral laws and a timetable for fresh parliamentary and presidential elections, AFP noted.
Calls for a government of national nonpartisan competencies mounted as Tunisia began to see its first acts of terrorism. The governing troika members, particularly Ennahda, have been accused of turning a blind eye to Ansar al-Sharia.
Frustrated over what they said was the government's ineptitude at confronting the jihadists, security officers last Friday expelled Prime Minister Ali Larayedh and President Moncef Marzouki from a memorial service for two security officers murdered a day earlier in the Gbollat region.
For his part, Larayedh charges the opposition, unions and media of obstructing the work of the government without having a political, economic and security alternative.
Beji Caid Essebsi, whose Nidaa Tounes party leads the polls in both the presidential and legislative elections, argues that while Tunisian voters gave the government a one-year mandate to write a constitution, they have taken two years to leave the document incomplete.
The back-and-forth between the government and the opposition is taking a toll on Tunisian citizens. If recent opinion polls are any indication, the Tunisian street is fed up with politics and politicians.
The main concern of young people remains employment. But as student Zahra Obaid noted, unemployment was a problem even before the revolution. She cannot see a way for her country to get out if its economic crisis.
"At this point, Tunisia's horizon is hazy," student Ahmed Jeridi agreed.