The Political Scene in Tunisia In Light of The Elections of May 6, 2018

Dr. Mohammed Al-Sbitli

Municipal elections in Tunisia took place in two phases. The first of which was on April 29, 2018 and was reserved for army and security officers, while the second phase – considered the main event – took place on May 6, 2018, with the participation of civilian voters. These local entitlements were the first voting experience since 2011. No municipal election has been held since then, and was, historically, the first experience for the country in the context of a multi-party political system.

The significance of these municipal elections is that they reflected the balance of political and partisan power in the country, as well as the volume and size of various competing forces on the scene. These elections have been postponed more than once. The last municipal election took place in 2010 under the former regime. What characterized these elections was the participation of security and military personnel. It is the first time in Tunisia's history that these two categories of citizens have participated in such entitlements.

In the municipal elections, 2,074 lists participated, including 1055 belonging to political parties, 860 independent lists and 159 party lists. The importance of independents should be highlighted and analyzed, as it represents political, social and cultural significance, especially as independents represent 41% of the lists in the elections.
The number of registered voters was estimated at more than 5,300,000; 52% of whom were males.
Perhaps the low turnout in these elections is the first observation to be made by the onlooker, the second being the important results achieved by independent lists. The third observation relates to the decline of the main party in the government (the Neda Tunis party) and its landing in second place, while its ally and rival (Nahdha Party) ranked first. All the while small parties continued to be marginalized and faintly present.

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