Luxury car scandal in Tunisia

Essebsi_0

The United Arab Emirates gifted two bullet-proof armored cars to a Tunisian opposition leader and it has caused quite the stir. Beiji Caid al-Sebsi, former prime minister and head of the opposition Nida Tounes party, has been accused of political corruption for receiving the two cars in late July. The luxury vehicles came from the UAE, but no one knew it until a tax document regarding the gift was leaked. Tunisia’s strict rules which prohibit foreign funding for any political party were put in place after the 2011 ouster of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. The truth is, Tunisian politics are still behind the laws which prohibit them from being corrupt. The gift begs the question, what exactly do the Emiratis expect in return? It is probably a ploy to influence the upcoming legislative and presidential elections. The UAE is obviously trying to sabotage the democratic transition in Tunisia. While the Nida Tounnes party received these cars, their rivals, the Ennahda Islamist party, whom ruled until January 2014, has allegedly received aid from Qatar in the past. Read more about how Gulf alliances and rivals shape Tunisian politics at Middle East Eye.




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