Tunisian Civil Society Organizations Announce Their Municipal Elections Observation Projects

TUNIS (Tuesday, July 18, 2017) – As part of its program to support the monitoring of domestic election efforts in Tunisia, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), along with its six partner associations, officially launched today six projects aimed at observing the different aspects of the municipal elections process. Chahed Observatory, Youth Without Borders (JSF), Ofiya Coalition, IWatch, Mourakiboun, and Tunisian Mediterranean Center (Tu-Med) presented their short-term and long-term election observation initiatives in view of the municipal elections, which are planned for December 17, 2017. Collectively, and with NDI’s technical support, the groups will observe the electoral process from start to finish, thereby commenting on proceedings and providing independent feedback and recommendations to electoral actors. Ultimately, these efforts will help ensure transparency, safeguard credibility, and instill citizen’s confidence in Tunisia’s first democratic municipal elections. More specifically:

  • Chahed has already begun its project by deploying long-term observers across all 24 governorates to monitor the voter registration process. Additionally, the group plans to monitor disputes and litigation proceedings following voter registration, candidate registration, and the announcement of final election results.
  • JSF for its part will monitor disputes and litigation after candidate registration and final results, and will deploy mobile observers in 10 regions on election day. This project will have a special emphasis on youth and women’s participation.
  • Ofiya will monitor media coverage of election campaigns, assessing both national and regional television, newspaper, and radio coverage of candidates and other election-related activities.
  • Meanwhile, IWatch will implement a project to monitor political party campaign finance, deploying observers in six regions to observe campaign activities and ultimately comparing parties’ reported expenses with actual campaign spending.
  • On election day, Mourakiboun will deploy about four thousand observers to a statistically-selected sampling of polling stations. Using this advanced technique, Mourakiboun will be able to verify the accuracy of official results.
  • Also on election day, Tu-Med will conduct a targeted observation effort to monitor the participation of women in rural zones of six governorates. This marginalized community faces numerous barriers to full electoral participation, which Tu-Med’s project aims to observe and address.

The event brought together representatives of Tunisian civil society as well as other primary actors within the Tunisian electoral sphere. At this occasion, NDI’s Senior Country Director, Ms. Marie-Ève Bilodeau, said that “NDI is pleased to work with these associations in view of Tunisia’s first democratic municipal elections that will involve the largest number of electoral candidates in the country’s history. This will not only engage election observers on an unprecedented level, but also provide them with an exceptional opportunity in the exercise of democracy.”

NDI’s financial and technical assistance for these election monitoring projects is part of a larger USAID-funded program of democracy assistance with the goal of ensuring citizen concerns are helping inform national-level decision-making and is made possible by the generous support of the American people.

For more information, contact Mrs. Assil Kedissi at 27 456 121 or by email at akedissi@ndi.org.


NDI is a non-partisan, non-governmental, non-profit organization working with local partners for the promotion of transparency and good governance around the world. NDI has been implementing programs in Tunisia since 2011, and currently provides technical assistance to the parliament, political parties, and civil society organizations. For more information, visit www.ndi.org.