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n January 2011, a citizen-led movement toppled the regime of authoritarian leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, ushering in an unprecedented political transition. Tunisians subsequently elected a National Constituent Assembly (NCA) tasked with drafting the country’s new constitution. After three years of negotiations, lawmakers ratified a new constitution in January 2014. Transparent and well-organized elections in fall 2014 marked the culmination of the constitutional phase in Tunisia’s transition. Tunisia’s 2019 national elections marked another important milestone. Held against a backdrop of citizens’ growing unease with the economic situation and disappointment in their political leaders, Tunisians elected a political outsider, Kais Said, as president, and issued a rebuke to the establishment political parties. Elected leaders must now tackle the pressing challenges of unemployment, insecurity, and disparities in regional development -- the same issues that drove Tunisians into the streets in 2011.
After opening an office in Tunis in 2011, NDI has worked with Tunisian political parties and civic organizations to foster a more competitive and representative political environment where political parties compete on behalf of citizens’ interests, legislators address constituent needs in fulfilling their duties, and civil society plays an active role in overseeing political and electoral processes. NDI currently supports political parties and the parliament in developing responsive policies, representing the interests of their constituents, overseeing the executive, and communicating with the public. NDI also conducts regular qualitative public opinion studies and shares the findings with decision-makers.
NDI has supported Tunisian citizen groups to observe every election since the revolution, including most recently the 2019 legislative and presidential elections. With NDI assistance, Mourakiboun conducted an advanced statistically-based observation, also known as a parallel-vote tabulation (PVT), of the 2014 and 2019 elections, enabling them to verify official election results and bolster Tunisians’ confidence in the election process and results.
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NDI's work upholds the idea that democracy is a human right – a principle enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But it's a human right that many around the world still struggle to attain. You can be part of the solution. Join the movement for democracy.