Senior Andean Correspondent
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Nov 22, 2014

Two frontrunners emerge in Tunisia’s presidential vote

TUNIS (Reuters) – Tunisians vote on Sunday in a presidential election pitting an ex-official from the days of autocrat Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali against a rights activist appealing to the spirit of the 2011 revolt that ousted him.

Beji Caid Essebsi, an 87-year-old former Ben Ali official, prefers to invoke the memory of Habib Bourguiba, Tunisia’s first post-independence leader, as a reference for the secular, modern state-building he advocates for the North African country.

Nov 21, 2014

Jihadi wave tests Tunisia’s young democracy

SOUSSE Tunisia (Reuters) – Tunisians were used to seeing Nidhal Selmi belting around a stadium, proudly sporting his country’s red and white colors as a defender on the national football squad.

So it was a shock when he appeared in a camouflage jacket with a Khalashnikov rifle across his thigh in a photograph from Syria posted online shortly before he was killed fighting there.

Oct 30, 2014

Tunisia’s Islamists down but not out after election defeat

TUNIS (Reuters) – After Tunisia’s Islamist party Ennahda conceded defeat in Sunday’s parliamentary elections, there were no fireworks, concerts or cheering rallies outside the headquarters of its rival, the secular Nidaa Tounes alliance.

Instead it was Ennahda’s leader Rached Ghannounchi who appeared before jubilant supporters to give what looked more like a victory address than a concession speech.

Oct 27, 2014

Tunisian Islamists concede election defeat to secular party

TUNIS (Reuters) – Tunisia’s Ennahda party, the first Islamist movement to secure power after the 2011 “Arab Spring” revolts, conceded defeat on Monday in elections that are set to make its main secular rival the strongest force in parliament.

Official results from Sunday’s elections – the second parliamentary vote since Tunisians set off uprisings across much of the Arab World by overthrowing autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali – were still to be announced.

Oct 27, 2014

Tunisians elect new parliament to consolidate young democracy

TUNIS (Reuters) – Tunisians elected a new parliament on Sunday bringing full democracy within their reach almost four years after an uprising cast out autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali and inspired the “Arab Spring” revolts.

Official results were not expected until after Sunday, but moderate Islamist party Ennahda and rival secular alliance Nidaa Tounes are favoured to win most seats in only the second free election in Tunisia since Ben Ali fled into exile.

Oct 26, 2014

Tunisians vote for new parliament, hope for full democracy

TUNIS (Reuters) – Tunisians elect a new parliament on Sunday as the prospect of a full democracy finally comes within their reach, four years after they cast out autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali.

Tunisia has fared better than neighbors who also ousted their own long-ruling leaders during the Arab Spring uprisings, largely avoiding their polarization and chaos even though it faced similar tensions over Islamist versus more secular rule.

Oct 22, 2014

Tunisia election tests transition from autocracy to democracy

HAMMAM SOUSSE Tunisia (Reuters) – Blaring music and flags fill the hall where Tunisia’s Initiative Party is warming up to test its chances in the second free election since the 2011 “Arab Spring” uprising that ousted autocrat Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

The party’s Eagle crest may be from the post-revolutionary era, but symbols from the past dominate its campaign for Sunday’s parliamentary vote, where Ben Ali’s old guard are hoping to make a comeback.

Sep 30, 2014

Algeria awards four of 31 oil, gas fields in auction

ALGIERS, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Algeria awarded four of 31 oil
and gas field blocks on offer to foreign consortiums on Tuesday
in its first energy auction since 2011 and nearly two years
after a militant attack on the country’s Amenas gas plant killed
39 foreign oil contractors.

Royal Dutch Shell and Spain’s Repsol won
the Boughezoul area in the north of the country while Shell and
Norway’s Statoil won the Timissit area in the east. A
consortium of Enel and Dragon Oil won the
Tinrhert and Msari Akabli areas.

Sep 28, 2014

Frenchman’s murder puts Algeria back on the shifting map of jihad

ALGIERS (Reuters) – When a little-known group of Algerian militants beheaded a French tourist last week, they were not only lashing out at the West, but also staking an unmistakable claim in the shifting ground of jihadist power politics.

Herve Gourdel’s murder by the Caliphate Soldiers, ostensibly to punish France for Western military strikes on Islamic State forces in Iraq, was testament to the pull now exerted by the al Qaeda-offshoot in the battle for the loyalties of jihadists.

Sep 25, 2014

Algerian militants behead kidnapped French tourist

ALGIERS (Reuters) – Algerian militants beheaded French tourist Herve Gourdel, who was kidnapped by gunmen on Sunday in what the group said was a response to France’s action against Islamic State militants in Iraq.

In a video released by his captors on Wednesday, Gourdel, a 55-year-old from Nice, is seen kneeling with his arms tied behind his back before four masked militants who read out a statement in Arabic criticizing France’s intervention.

    • About Pat

      "Patrick Markey is the Senior Andean Correspondent for Reuters, based in Bogota, Colombia. For the last nine years he has covered and helped manage coverage across the Andean region, including Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador. He has also reported on top stories across Latin America, including more recently the Honduras coup and Haiti's earthquake."
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