The 18 October Coalition for Rights and Freedoms was born in 2005 when a consensus was reached among a group of Tunisian political parties and civil associations of diverse, or even contradictory, ideological orientations. It was formed on the basis of common goals rather than on ideological affinities. In spite of repression by the authorities, concerns about Islamism and apprehensions towards the radical left, the members of the coalition believe that there is no way for society to express itself or to regain its dynamism without attaining the basic rights involved in the struggle to resist oppression and arbitrary rule. The formation of the coalition and the choice of a consensual process among such disparate forces as leftists, liberal democrats and Islamists is an indication that the struggle for the rule of law is the overarching concern shared by all opposition forces in Tunisia, a pattern that other opposition forces across the Arab world are increasingly following.
The views represented in this paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Arab Reform Initiative, its staff, or its board.