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The news that Tunisia’s competing political factions have broken months of logjam and appointed a technocrat as interim prime minister sets the stage for a yearend review of the events that have followed the Arab Spring.

Keeping up the seasonal metaphor, one could say Tunisia offers a hint of Indian summer in what is otherwise a chilly autumn. The Tunisian economy is shaky, the public is frustrated, and two prominent leftists have been assassinated by Salafists. Yet democracy is still functioning, and a multiparty deal facilitating completion of a new constitution is within reach.

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