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Tunisia

Monthly Updates

January 2023

Tunisia held the second round of its parliamentary elections on 29 January amid growing calls from the opposition and civil society for the cancellation of the electoral process. The Independent High Authority for Elections (ISIE) announced that the turnout in the second round of the legislative elections amounted to 11.4 per cent, up from 8.8 per cent in the first round. However, this level of electoral participation is a significant decline compared with the 2019 elections which had 41.7 per cent turnout. Opposition leaders attribute the low turnout to public dissatisfaction with recent policy changes, which have been criticized for being authoritarian-leaning.

December 2022

On 17 December, Tunisia held its first legislative elections since the dissolution of the legislature in July 2021. The vote took place under a new electoral system created by the president through decree laws, and which reduces the power of political parties. In response, most political parties boycotted the election. With the majority of parties absent, 1,058 candidates (of whom only 4 per cent were youth (under 35 years old) and only 11 per cent were women) were competing for 161 parliamentary seats. Turnout was at a record low of 11.2 per cent, continuing a negative trend since the remarkably high level of participation (more than 90 per cent) achieved in 2011. Only 21 candidates secured election due to the low turnout figures. A second round will be held in February in most Tunisian regions to decide the remaining seats. Opposition politicians stated the low turnout is indicative of a legitimacy deficit, and that President Saied should step down.

November 2022

The electoral campaign for the 17 December elections in Tunisia began on 25 November in the midst of an ongoing crackdown on dissent. Twelve political parties (including the influential Ennahda party) have boycotted the election. President Kais Saied has been criticized by journalists and politicians for using legal proceedings to imprison politicians and journalists who expressed criticism, including through politically motivated investigations into corruption, and the use of a decree introduced in September that criminalises the spreading of “false news.” Under the new electoral law, 1,055 candidates are running for the 161 seats in the parliament, representing constituencies in Tunisia (151) and abroad (10). Voters are preoccupied with the high cost of living and the unemployment rate (currently at 15.3 per cent). The social situation and new electoral law have had a negative impact on the political outlook, and low voter participation is expected.

October 2022

On 3 October three new political parties joined the boycott of the parliamentary elections that are due to be held on 17 December. This came after 13 other political parties announced a boycott of the election in September, opposing the new electoral law imposed by President Kaïs Saïed. Anti-government protests followed later on 15 October, demanding Saïed’s resignation and accountability for the economic crisis.

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GSoD Indices Data 2012-2021

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Basic Information

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Population Tooltip
11 935 764
System of government
Parliamentary system
Head of government
Prime Minister Najla Bouden (since 2021)
Head of government party
Independent
Electoral system for lower or single chamber
Two-Round System
Women in lower or single chamber
15.53%
Women in upper chamber
Not applicable
Last legislative election
2023
Effective number of political parties Tooltip
3.88
Head of state
President Kaïs Saïed
Selection process for head of state
Direct election (two-round majority)
Latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) date
02/05/2017
Latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) percentage of recommendations supported
76.21%
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Human Rights Treaties

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State Party State party
Signatory Signatory
No Action No action
United Nations Human Right Treaties
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
State Party
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
State Party
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
State Party
Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
State Party
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment
State Party
Convention on the Rights of the Child
State Party
International Convention on Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
No Action
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance 
State Party
International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
State Party
International Labour Organisation Treaties
Forced Labour Convention
State Party
Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention
State Party
Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention
State Party
Equal Remuneration Convention
State Party
Abolition of Forced Labour Convention
State Party
Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention
State Party
Convention concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment
State Party
Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention
State Party
Regional Treaties
African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights
State Party
Arab Charter on Human Rights
No Action
in
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Attributes Over Time

Representative government neutral Representative Government
Sep 2022
Oct
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb 2023
Representative government neutral Fundamental rights
Sep 2022
Oct
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb 2023
Representative government neutral Checks on government
Sep 2022
Oct
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb 2023
Representative government neutral Impartial administration
Sep 2022
Oct
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb 2023
Representative government neutral Participatory engagement
Sep 2022
Oct
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb 2023

GSoD Indices

Regime type
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