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On Dec. 21, Tunisia completed a remarkable democratic transfer of power, with the election of Beji Caid Essebsi, the leader of the secular political party Nidaa Tounes (Call of Tunisia).Now it is time for Tunisia's leaders to put the economy at the top of their agenda.The party's leaders could strike a power-sharing arrangement with the moderate Islamist Ennahda party, which finished second, with 69 seats, and risk a stalemate over policy. Or they could piece together a working majority from smaller political parties and try to govern in an unstable coalition beset by deep policy disagreements.Nidaa Tounes must take the lead in forging support from all major parties for a national-unity agenda on economic reforms.Provided the security threats are contained, an early consensus within Tunisia on a credible economic agenda would open the taps of the largest potential source of capital: international financial markets. The incoming funds, and the subsequent growth and job creation, would undergird the consolidation of democracy – and thus help cement the impressive gains that Tunisia has made so far.
A liberal Egypt needs long-term international engagement
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