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Waging Peace

After being harassed by local officials, Tunisian fruit vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi, committed suicide in Sidi Bouzid on December 17, 2010. His untimely death sparked a revolution that toppled the repressive government of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and subsequently spawned pro-democracy protests throughout the Arab world. The Carter Center has worked in Tunisia since 2011 to monitor elections and the country's constitution drafting process and to help establish institutional and legal frameworks for subsequent elections.

+Monitoring Elections

The Carter Center has been active in Tunisia since June 2011, a few months after the ouster of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Most recently, it sent teams of long-term and short-term observers to monitor the October 2014 legislative election and the November 2014 presidential election, the first since the drafting of a new constitution. Despite minor irregularities at some polling locations, the team found that on the whole both elections were calm, orderly, and transparent.

In 2011, the Carter Center had been invited to observe the election of the Constituent Assembly responsible for drafting the country's new constitution. Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and former Mauritius President Cassam Uteem co-led that election mission.

Following the election, The Carter Center remained in Tunisia to follow the constitutional drafting process and developments related to establishing institutional and legal frameworks for subsequent elections. The Center assessed these processes against Tunisia's national laws and international treaty obligations, and issued public recommendations to help bring the constitution and electoral legislation into greater alignment with Tunisia's international obligations for civil and political rights. Carter Center staff advocated for these recommendations in meetings with assembly members, civil society representatives, and the diplomatic community. In collaboration with international and Tunisian partners, the Center also conducted outreach activities on democratic election standards, including a series of training activities to help support civil society organizations to monitor elections.

Related Resources

Read the Center's public statements and main findings here.

View Carter Center election reports for Tunisia >

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Size: 163,610 square kilometers

Population: 11,403,800

Population below poverty line: 15.5 percent

Life expectancy: 76 years

Ethnic groups: Arab, European, Jewish, other

Religions: Muslim (official; Sunni), Christian, Jewish, Shia Muslim, Baha'i  

Languages: Arabic (official, one of the languages of commerce), French (commerce), Berber (Tamazight)

Source: U.S. Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook 2018



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