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Future  Elections:  Focus  on  Voter  Registration  Logistics  and  Youth  Participation      “From  a  crisis  situation  to  the  transition  of  a  safe  and  stable  democracy  –  and  an  enduring  transfor-­‐‑ mation  is  what  we  wish  for  the  people  of  Tunisia.  We  came  to  support  the  transparency  of  this  historic   process  and  we  are  pleased  to  report  that  our  mission  was  successful,”  said  Dr.  Loai  Deeb,  President   of  the  Global  Network  for  Rights  and  Development  (GNRD).   At  a  press  conference  presenting  the  preliminary  report  of  the  international  observation  mission,  Dr.   Deeb  stated  that  the  mission  was  conducted  in  accordance  with  the  Declaration  of  Principles  for  Inter-­‐‑ national  Election  Observation  and  the  Code  of  Conduct  for  International  Election  Observers,  as  well   as  with  Tunisia’s  laws  and  regulations.  Largely,  the  parliamentary  election  process  itself  was  peaceful;   there   was   very   little   interference   and   very   few   reports   of   misconduct.   This   was   the   second   peaceful   election  since  2011,  and  the  glimmer  of  hope  for  democracy  in  the  Arab  world  continues  to  propagate   from  a  flicker  to  a  flame.   GNRD   and   IIPJHR   also   presented   findings   based   on   analysis   gleaned   from   the   checklists   that   were   used   to   conduct   the   data   collection   portion   of   the   observation   mission.   Checklists   were   specifically   designed  for  this  election  and  in  accordance  with  Tunisia’s  electoral  laws  and  regulations.   Fifteen  groups  were  deployed  –  each  team  consisted  of  two  international  observers,  and  two  logistic   personnel.   There   were   55   observers   and   experts   from   GNRD;   25   observers   and   specialists   from   the   Institute  of  Peace  Justice  and  Human  Rights  (IIPJHR).  The  80  international  experts  and  observers  were   from   22   countries:   Norway,   India,   Russia,   Latvia,   Canada,   Spain,   Armenia,   Jordan,   Egypt,   Belgium,   France,  Zambia,  Switzerland,  United  Kingdom,  Austria,  United  States  of  America,  State  of  Palestine,   Sudan,  Australia,  Iceland,  South  Africa  and  Germany.   Each   team   visited   approximately   nine   to   thirteen   polling   stations.   In   total,   148   polling   stations   were   observed   in   16   governorates   where   67,069   voters   were   registered.   It   was   concluded   that   more   than   90%  of  polling  stations  experienced  very  limited  issues  or  no  problems.   Observers   witnessed   a   high   turnout   of   voters   in   most   polling   centers,   especially   among   the   elderly,   however  youth  representation  at  polling  stations  was  glaringly  absent.  One  audience  member  at  the   conference  requested  that  GNRD  and  IIPJHR  include  recommendations  in  the  final  report  to  address  

various government   bodies   and   Tunisian   authorities,   to   whom   the   report   will   be   presented,   and   re-­‐‑ quest  that  they  draft  a  nationwide  strategy  to  inspire  youth  participation  in  future  elections.   It  was  observed  that  the  polling  centers  were  highly  organized  and  administered  by  committed,  well-­‐‑ trained  teams.  Women  were  largely  involved  in  administration;  women  led  30%  of  polling  stations.   One  of  the  major  concerns  of  this  parliamentary  election  pivoted  around  the  logistical  issues  of  voter’s   lists.  An  indication  that  the  administration  of  the  voters  lists  needs  improvement,  as  this  breakdown   reflected   the   fact   that   approximately   7%   of   voters   arrived   at   polling   stations   only   to   find   that   they   were  not  registered  and  therefore  not  allowed  to  exercise  their  right  to  vote.  A  member  of  the  Tunisian   diaspora  flew  from  France  only  to  find  he  was  turned  away  and  not  permitted  to  vote.   The   synthesis   of   information   gathered   from   the   mission   led   to   additional   report   recommendations   that  requested:   ! ! ! ! !

The improvement  of  voters  registration  system  that  would  ensure  that  all  voters  who   want  to  vote  are  to  be  registered  in  the  lists;   Enhanced  enforcement  and  monitoring  of  regulations  relating  to  the  placement  of  vot-­‐‑ ing  instructions  at  the  polling  centers;   The  creation  of  a  policy  that  would  simplify  the  voting  process  for  the  illiterate  popu-­‐‑ lation;   The  consideration  to  revise  the  legislation  that  would  consider  a  possibility  of  the  time   extension  for  the  voting  process;   The  creation  of  a  national  strategy  that  would  monitor  and  enforce  the  violation  of  the   regulation  of  campaigning  activities  in  and  around  polling  stations  that  occur  on  elec-­‐‑ tion  day.  

In the  closing  remarks,  Mr.  Magdy  El  Sayed  Kaoud,  GNRD  Board  Member,  said,  “If  people  willed  for   peace,  then  fate  shall  respond.”  For  this  final  statement,  he  received  hearty  applause.   This  will  for  transformation  clearly  became  reality,  as  Tunisians  pledged  their  commitment  to  democ-­‐‑ racy  and  demonstrated  desire  for  change  through  the  use  of  the  ballot  box.  

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS   The  joint  mission  is  pleased  to  present  its  general  comments  and  recommendations  below.       General  Comments     1. In  most  cases  the  atmosphere  at  the  polling  centers  was  peaceful  and  the  procedures  were  car-­‐‑ ried  out  in  an  orderly  manner     2. High  turnout  of  voters  in  most  polling  centers,  especially  among  elderly  people.  Less  partici-­‐‑ pation  of  the  youth     3. Several  cases  were  registered  when  the  voters  could  not  find  their  names  in  the  list,  thus  were   not  allowed  to  vote     4. Administrations  of  the  polling  centers  were  well  trained  and  prepared  for  their  mission.   Women  were  largely  involved  in  administration,  but  only  in  30%  of  centers  they  were  heads.     5. The  polling  stations  were  provided  with  sufficient  security     6. The  observers  were  mostly  given  free  access  to  polling  stations  and  provided  with  the  neces-­‐‑ sary  information     7. Closing  and  counting  process  went  smoothly,  only  with  minor  errors  which  were  more  the  re-­‐‑ sult  of  lack  of  sufficient  knowledge  on  the  details  of  the  procedure  by  the  polling  administra-­‐‑ tion,  rather  than  intentional  errors.     8.   Recommendations     1. Improve  the  system  of  voters  registration  in  order  for  all  voters  to  be  registered  in  the  lists     2. Redesign  the  voting  ballot  to  make  it  less  transparent     3. Amend  the  procedures  with  regards  to  illiterate  voters  so  they  have  more  assistance  with  how   to  cast  their  vote     4. Organize  better  campaigns  to  encourage  the  participation  of  youth     5. Higher  percentage  of  women  involved  as  heads  of  polling  stations     6. Better  enforcement  and  monitoring  of  regulations  relating  to  campaign  activities  on  election   day  all  over  the  country,  including  in  and  around  polling  stations     7. Better  enforcement  and  monitoring  of  regulations  relating  to  the  placement  of  voting  instruc-­‐‑ tions  at  the  polling  centers.

M. Jean-­‐‑François  Fechino,  director  of  IIPJHR,  delivers  the  final  report  of  GNRD  and  IIPJHR  Joint  Election  Obser-­‐‑ vation   Mission   to   Tunisia   Parliamentary   Report   to   President   of   High   Independent   Authority   for   the   Elections   (ISIE),  Mr.  Mouhamed  Chafik  Sarsar.  


Thank you  to  GNRD  team.     Thank  you  to  the  IIPJHR  Team…      


Daniel Gueorguievsky   Bruno  Ravet   Jean-­‐‑Pierre  Yabas   Sebastien  Parisot   Gabriel  Paris   Floranne  Lamoureux   Tom  Feraud   Martha  Perez  Soria   Imène  Ajala   Jean-­‐‑François  Fechino  

International Institute for Peace, Justice and Human Rights Rue Richard Wagner, 1 CH - 1202 Genève +41 22 733 83 07

Mission Tunisa Presidentials  

Observatory joint mission for Tunisian presidential elections. NGO. Geneva. Human Rights Council. EcoSoc. UNO

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