Tunisia: Elections… and then what?

In the wake of the departure of former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisia has for months lived to the beat of fair, transparent and democratic elections that reflect the will of the people to make a break with the past and achieve the goals of its revolution. To guarantee the fairness of the elections, the transitional government mandated the Commission for Political Reform to reform the electoral system for the election of the President of the Republic in accordance with Section 57 of the 1959 Constitution. Political disputes broke out between the transitional government and a number of other actors on the post-revolution Tunisian political scene, including the General Union of Tunisian Workers, the Ennahda (Renaissance) Movement, the Tunisian Workers’ Communist Party, and other groups that make up the High Council for the Protection of the Revolution. As a result, the interim President was obliged to suspend work on the constitution, dissolve the representative assemblies, and call for elections to a national constituent assembly to draft a new constitution for the country. The Commission for Political Reform – which was transformed into an expanded committee named the High Commission for the Fulfilment of Revolutionary Goals, Political Reform and Democratic Transition – was mandated to draw up the new electoral code.