News from NDI: Tunisians Determined to Connect with Elected Officials, NDI Research Shows

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August 2015

Tunisia

One hundred days since Tunisia’s newly-elected government entered office, Tunisians reported frustration with the discrepancy between candidates’ promises for more citizen engagement and their performance so far in elected office. Despite their disappointment, Tunisian citizens still seek opportunities to connect with their elected leaders, according to newly released NDI focus group research.

Conducted from May 2 to 9, the focus group research included participants from four cities across Tunisia: Bizerte, Grand Tunis, Kasserine and Sfax. The research built on 12 previous rounds of public opinion research conducted by NDI since March 2011.

The economy, particularly rising prices and enduring unemployment, continues to be a primary concern for many Tunisians. “If you don’t give citizens life essentials like employment, improvement in the standard of living and health care, then how can they live?” asked one male participant from Kasserine.

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NDI Wishes Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter Speedy and Full Recovery

Daschle

NDI expresses best wishes to former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his family.

“NDI salutes the extraordinary work of President Carter and wishes him a speedy and full recovery. Our thoughts are with the president and the Carter family," said NDI President Kenneth Wollack in a statement. Read more »

Youth Dialogues Engage the Next Generation of Leaders in Nicaragua

White Paper

While youth in Nicaragua make up one quarter of the country’s population, they face significant barriers to becoming politically involved. Last year, reforms to the Nicaraguan Constitution increased the authority of the president and limited the ability of citizens, including young people, to participate in the political process.

The developments spurred three local organizations to launch a series of youth dialogue seminars from February through June, in partnership with NDI, aimed at motivating young people to think critically about how the constitutional reforms affect their daily lives and encourage them to take on leadership positions in their communities. Read more »

Ahead of October Municipal Elections, Candidates Develop Policy Plans for Peace in Colombia

Pakistan

As negotiations continue between the Colombian government and the country’s largest guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), local candidates are putting together plans for rebuilding and reconciliation in a post-conflict environment. Read more »

Youth Should Focus on Building Democratic Institutions Says African Union Leader

Georgia

As more young people in Africa become involved in politics, their efforts should extend “beyond protests" to the ongoing work of building democratic institutions, according to Ibraheem ‘Bukunle Sanusi, deputy head of the African Union’s (AU) African Governance Architecture Secretariat.

Ibraheem spoke at a recent Washington panel event hosted by NDI that focused on identifying constructive ways for young people across the continent to hold elected officials accountable and push for more government transparency in the long-term. Read more »

New Avenues for Citizen-Led Reform in Guatemala

Les

Every Saturday since mid-April, thousands of Guatemalans have gathered peacefully in front of the main government offices to protest corruption and impunity. They are pressing for, among other things, significant reforms in the electoral and justice systems, a reaction to the discovery of tax evasion, money laundering and influence peddling among government officials.

In response to the protests, the Guatemalan Congress partnered with community organizations to create joint legislative-civil society working groups and present their legislative reform proposals at the end of August. More than 170 organizations and individuals began participating in the working groups in June, and have garnered major attention ahead of the general elections scheduled for Sept. 6.

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