Preparing to Draft a New Social Contract: Tunisia's National Constituent Assembly Election, 2011

Daniel Tavana

Tunisia’s Independent High Authority for Elections faced a formidable task in May 2011. The newly created commission had five months to organize and implement elections for a National Constituent Assembly that would rewrite the Tunisian constitution. Commissioners moved quickly to build capacity and restore public faith in elections. The commission navigated the pressures of a compressed electoral calendar, an agitated electorate, and skepticism of the transitional government. The story of the group’s efforts to manage a successful election offers insight into how an electoral commission can take advantage of relationships with political parties, government, and the public to overcome inexperience in volatile circumstances. This case study focuses on commission staffing and recruitment, the creation of regional subsidiary bodies, and voter registration.

Year of publication: 
Princeton Innovations for Successful Societies
Themes and sectors: 
Civil society
Themes and sectors: 
Case story length: 
14 pages

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