In the first open elections in the Arab world since this year’s uprisings rocked the region, Tunisians went to the polls in very high numbers to elect a National Constituent Assembly on Sunday, October 23rd. This was a historic moment, not only for Tunisia but for the entire region. As Tunisia entered the next stage of its democratic transition, the New America Foundation and the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) co-hosted a discussion examining the outcomes of these critical elections as well as exploring the challenges for Tunisia and its international partners.
How did the major parties competing in the elections perform? What are the platforms, ideologies, and base constituencies for the election’s main winners, and how might this affect the upcoming process of writing a new constitution? Were there any significant irregularities in the process? How were the electoral process and results viewed by the central actors, as well as by the Tunisian population more broadly? How were the elections perceived elsewhere in the region? What are the main challenges facing the new National Constituent Assembly, and what can the international community do to support the transition as it continues forward? The panelists attempted to answer these questions and more at this Oct. 28 event.