Tunisia has undergone a fragile democratic transition since the 2011 overthrow of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. However, in the face of persistent political and economic crises, President Kais Saied consolidated power by invoking Article 80 of Tunisia’s constitution July 25, 2021, suspending parliament and dismissing the Head of Government. In December 2021, the President announced a roadmap for political reforms which includes a constitutional referendum and snap legislative elections. Since 2011, IFES has supported Tunisia’s democratic transition, partnering with civil society organizations and government institutions to strengthen and reinforce a culture of inclusive and participatory democracy.
IFES works closely with the High Independent Authority for Elections (ISIE) to build its professional capacity to autonomously manage electoral processes. IFES supported the country’s first credible multiparty elections in October 2011, paving the way for the National Constituent Assembly. Since then, IFES successfully supported the historic parliamentary elections in 2014; the first municipal elections in 2018; and presidential elections in 2014 and 2019. As Tunisia entered a new phase of its democratic transition, IFES continues to work with local partners on broader concepts of democracy and governance and is preparing to support the elections slated to take place later in 2022.
IFES’s innovative programming aims to:
- Consolidate citizens' confidence in the integrity of the elections by building the various stakeholders' electoral capacities and supporting electoral reforms.
- Promote inclusive and participatory democracy by implementing voter awareness and information campaigns targeting young people, women, people living in rural areas, illiterate people and citizens with disabilities.
- Prepare future generations and the population at large to become active, involved citizens through the implementation of civic education programs aimed at strengthening a democratic culture.
- Encourage objective, fair and accurate media coverage of elections to increase the quality of information for citizens on the challenges related to elections.