Elections Tunisia

Tunisia: The new constitutional and legal framework for the elections of the Assembly of People's Representatives

To establish a pluralist and democratic political system - since 2011 - Tunisia has been working to develop a legal framework that can guarantee transparent, fair, and pluralistic electoral processes.

Despite the progress made in 2011 (election of a Constituent Assembly), 2014 (parliamentary and presidential elections), 2018 (municipal elections), and 2019 (parliamentary and presidential elections), the electoral process has been subject to intense criticism. Due to suspicions of financial and media interference and the ineffectiveness of control mechanisms, the legal framework for elections may not guarantee equal opportunities between candidates and organise fair and transparent elections. 

According to critics - who argue that the electoral legal framework needs to be changed - the proportional voting system has led to the dispersion of votes. Moreover, it did not favour the emergence of stable parliamentary majorities, which affected government work efficiency. 

15 September 2022 Decree-Law No. 55 reworked the Electoral Law promulgated in 2014, laying down the new rules given the elections to the People's Representatives Assembly on 17 December 2022. These are the significant changes:

  • Each candidate must collect 400 sponsorships from voters to access the polls.
  • In the event of a Member's failure of integrity or negligence in the performance of parliamentary duties, it is now possible to revoke the mandate.
  • A new territorial division of electoral districts.
  • A new two-round first-past-the-post system is replacing the proportional system. 

Two takeaways:

It is essential to list two main aspects of Decree-Law No. 55:

  1. It does not provide incentives to support the participation of vulnerable groups, such as women, youth, etc., which may constitute a regression compared to the previous legal framework.
  2. There aren't any provisions that could enshrine a more effective control of campaign financing, except the tightening of penalties for those who make donations in cash or in kind to influence voters.

To learn more about the subject, please download the below attachment (In Arabic).

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The New Constitutional and Legal Framework for the Elections of the ARP - Arabic Version Download

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