CONTACTS: Atlanta, Deborah Hakes +1 404 420 5124; Tunis, Sabina Vigani +216 23 63 49 79
In response to an invitation from the Tunisian electoral commission, The Carter Center formally launched an international observation mission to monitor preparations for the country's Constituent Assembly elections anticipated on Oct. 23. The mission is supported by an office in Tunis, which is led by Field Office Director Sabina Vigani.
"The Carter Center supports peaceful, transparent elections in Tunisia, where popular calls for reform sparked pro-democracy movements throughout the Arab world," former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said. "Tunisia's Constituent Assembly elections will be an important test of the success of the country's transition and hopefully will provide a strong foundation for democracy."
The Carter Center received official accreditation from the High Independent Elections Commission (ISIE), and has deployed 10 long-term observers to monitor the voter registration process and electoral preparations. The observers and core staff - a diverse group of election experts representing 12 countries - will meet with election officials; political party and civil society representatives, including domestic observation groups; members of the international community; and other stakeholders, to assess elections administration, voter registration, the campaign period, voting and counting procedures, and other issues related to the overall electoral process in Tunisia. They will be joined by 40 additional short-term observers from various nationalities around election day.
The Carter Center conducts its activities in a nonpartisan, professional manner in accordance with applicable law and international standards for election monitoring set forth in the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation, adopted at the United Nations in 2005 and endorsed by 35 election observation groups. The Center will remain in close communication with Tunisian authorities, all political parties, candidates, civil society organizations, media, and other international and domestic observer missions. The Center will release periodic public statements on electoral findings, available on its website: www.cartercenter.org.
"Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope."
A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 70 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers in developing nations to increase crop production. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.