Whether pitaconsumers think 15 presidential candidates for Tunisia’s 8 million eligible voters is too much or a good amount, we are happy to hear some discussion about Tunisia’s upcoming elections. On October 26th, Tunisians will elect a new parliament. Soon after, on November 23rd, Tunisians will hold round 1 of electing their first president since ousting the Zine El Abidine Ben Ali regime in 2010. Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi served as Acting President. Since then, Tunisia adopted a new constitution, saw the winning Ennahda Party step down, and witnessed two political assassinations. If necessary, round 2 will occur on December 28th. This week, Dr. Noureddine Jebnoun shares his political assessment for Tunisia’s parliamentary and presidential elections. Dr. Jebnoun is a faculty member at Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies.
It’s refreshing to hear about political challenges in an election context. To be honest, we are tired of hearing about ISIS — it’s like the national security community is hitting a midlife crISIS…or experiencing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from the Al Qaeda experience and the symptoms include outdated flashbacks.
Various efforts to increase voter registration, through SMS and “youth” campaigns, receive external support on the watch of the Independent High Authority for Elections. The At the same time, we must agree with Dr. Jebnoun that not all is faring so well in Tunisia. Since PITAPOLICY’s visit in June 2014, the domestic situation in Tunisia leaves a lot of room for Tunisian voters to hold their political parties accountable for –regardless of experience. In Jebnoun’s article, he points out how tackling unemployment, cronyism, and corruption can be any party’s platform because no solutions have been posited as of late, “Political economy has never been a priority for the Islamist party and its secularist – leftist partners in power.”
Tunisia’s Presidential Bazaar
Source: Article first appeared on Middle East Insight: MEI Insight No. 115 27 August 2014
Who Are These Candidates? Why so many and where did they come from?
- Emna Mansour, President of Democratric Movement for Reform and Construction;
- Abderraouf Ayadi, Secretary General of Wafa Movement;
- Béji Caïd Essebsi, President of Nidaa Tunis;
- Kalthoum Kannou, judge and former President of the Tunisian Association of Magistrates;
- Ahmed Néjib Chebbi, President of the High Political Authority of Al Joumhouri Party;
- Abderrahim Zouari, former Secretary General of the dissolved -‐ banned Ben Ali’s party the Democratic Constitutional Rally and candidate of the Destourien Movement.
Filing nominations for presidential elections started on September 8th, and will close on September 22nd.
Candidates for the 2014 presidential election not backed by at least 10 members of the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) must get 10,000 signatures for sponsorship by citizen – voters in at least ten electoral constituencies… Already nearly 40 personalities have publicly announced their intention to run for the highest office, most of whom are independent personalities. However, it is difficult for them to secure an endorsement from10 members of NCA and the only other way open to them is to seek the10,000 signatures required. ~Noureddine Jebnoun