Tunisian first election under new constitution: a milestone for the country of the Jasmine revolution

Brussels – Rome – New York, 29 October 2014

On Sunday 26 October 2014, around five million Tunisians voted to elect their first five-year parliament under the country’s new constitution passed earlier this year. More than 100 political parties were running in these second national elections since the 2011 revolution that overthrew the regime of former President Ben Ali. According to the partial results from the official election commission released throughout Monday, the Secular Nidaa Tounes (Tunisia's Call) party is set to win around 80-85 out of 217 contested seats, while the Ennahda party comes in second with around 70 seats.
Statement by Niccolò Figà-Talamanca, Secretary-General of No Peace Without Justice:

“No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) welcome the legislative elections held in Tunisia on last Sunday as a landmark step in the consolidation of the country’s political transition to democracy. The peaceful conclusion of these elections also send a powerful signal of support to those who are advocating and fighting to see their democratic aspirations fulfilled in other countries of the region.
“We congratulate the Tunisian people who, in casting their votes despite security fears, contributed to the successful conclusion of free and fair elections. Through their peaceful perseverance and dedication, they continue to inspire people across their region and around the world, as they did during Tunisia’s 2011 revolution that sparked the Arab Spring and with the adoption of a new Constitution earlier this year.
“Tunisia’s vibrant civil society – oppressed under previous regimes – has also confirmed its crucial role in the lead-up to these elections, particularly in conducting widespread education and awareness-raising campaigns to inform people about the importance of voting, which is a critical part of empowering people to understand and embrace democracy. The large turnout on Sunday, which defied most opinion polls that had projected a decline in popular participation, is a testament to their commitment and to the success of their work over the previous months.
“Tunisians have weathered a testing transitional governance period of more than three years that has been marred by rising extremist insurgency, episodes of political violence and increasing terrorism, turmoil and economic failure. They are hopeful that the outcome of these elections will lead to the fulfilment of their hopes and dreams for their country.
“While the final official results have yet to be announced, NPWJ and the NRPTT look forward to the new Tunisian National Assembly and Government sparing no efforts in responding through appropriate reforms to the people’s needs and aspirations. Strengthening protection for human rights and freedoms, ensuring accountability and reparations for victims of past and current violations and guaranteeing respect of the rule of law, as enshrined in the Tunisian Constitution, should be at the heart of the actions of the newly-elected bodies.
“We have every confidence that, whatever the results, the new Government will act in the best interests of all Tunisians, upholding the ideals and principles on which the new Tunisia was founded. Only then can the aspirations of Tunisians that brought to the 2011 uprising truly be achieved.”

- For further information, please contact Gianluca Eramo (MENA Democracy Program Coordinator) on geramo@npwj.org, phone: +32 2 548 39 25, or Greta Barbone on gbarbone@npwj.org or +39 06 68979262 or Nicola Giovannini on ngiovannini@npwj.org or +32 (0)2 548-39 15
- Visit also the special section on NPWJ and KADEM’s work in support of on transitional justice in Tunisia.