Tunisia: Civil society must ensure that rights and freedoms are realised after elections

ARTICLE 19 applauds the success of the first democratic parliamentary elections in Tunisia since the revolution, which were held on 26 October 2014. Furthermore, it expresses the hope that the presidential elections and the elections due to be held in 2015 to consolidate local democracy will take place in a free, transparent and peaceful way.

“The atmosphere in which the parliamentary elections took place is proof that Tunisians are capable of overcoming the social and political divisions that have prevailed for the last two years; ARTICLE 19 encourages the Tunisian people and the various political actors to maintain this spirit of solidarity and this consensus-based approach in order to complete and further pursue the democratic reforms that the country needs,” said Saloua Ghazouani Oueslati, Project Manager for ARTICLE 19 in Tunisia.

The members of parliament elected on 26 October are called upon to assume their full responsibility regarding the protection and realisation of rights and freedoms acquired since the revolution, as guaranteed in the 2014 Constitution and by fully respecting Tunisia’s commitment to upholding them in accordance with international law.

“At this new stage, it is necessary for civil society, which has played a crucial role in ensuring that the process of transition towards democracy has been kept on the right path, especially at the very critical stages that Tunisia has experienced since 2011, to carry on playing a power-balancing role, which is indispensable in any democratic country when it comes to ensuring that rights and freedoms are realised,” said Saloua Ghazouani Oueslati.

In October 2014, ARTICLE 19 launched the “My Pledge” initiative, which was signed by more than 100 candidates standing for the parliamentary elections, of whom 10 were elected. The aim of the initiative was to get candidates standing for election to commit to defending a society free of discrimination and prejudice, and to promote freedom of expression and values of respect and acceptance. And it is now addressed at those running for presidential office at the elections being held on 23 November 2014. All elected representatives are called upon to sign this initiative and ensure that it is applied throughout their term of office.

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