In order to demonstrate the international community’s commitment to supporting Tunisia’s continued democratic transition, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI) jointly organized an international mission to observe the 2019 presidential and legislative elections. With accreditation from the Independent High Authority for Elections (ISIE), the observation mission fielded a pre-election assessment mission in July 2019, deployed long-term observers and analysts through the fall, and organized Election Day delegations for all three election days: presidential (September 15), legislative (October 6) and run-off presidential (October 13).
The joint final report is a comprehensive analysis of the electoral process and provides recommendations to enhance the credibility of elections in Tunisia going forward. Taken together, the mission observed a series of elections that were well-administered from a technical standpoint, particularly given the tight timeframes that election officials faced during an election cycle set into motion by the death of former President Beji Caid Essebsi in July 2019. However, the Institutes identified various recommendations and areas of improvement, including the need for an independent Constitutional Court, sustained investment in election administration, increased coordination and communication between authorities involved in elections, and gaps in Tunisia’s electoral framework. The mission urges Tunisian stakeholders to consider these recommendations to improve the electoral process and undergird electoral integrity.
NDI recognizes that, ultimately, the success of Tunisia’s elections is judged by the Tunisian people, who carry the collective responsibility of ensuring faith in future elections as a safeguard for democracy. Based on observations drawn by its delegations throughout the electoral process and in the spirit of international cooperation, the Institute offers this report and its recommendations to enhance future elections.
The joint Tunisia International Election Observation Mission was made possible with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development.