Preparing to Draft a New Social Contract: Tunisia's National Constituent Assembly Election, 2011


Tunisia’s Independent High Authority for Elections faced a formidable task in May 2011. The newly created commission had five months to organize and implement elections for a National Constituent Assembly that would rewrite the Tunisian constitution. Commissioners moved quickly to build capacity and restore public faith in elections. The commission navigated the pressures of a compressed electoral calendar, an agitated electorate, and skepticism of the transitional government. The story of the group’s efforts to manage a successful election offers insight into how an electoral commission can take advantage of relationships with political parties, government, and the public to overcome inexperience in volatile circumstances. This case study focuses on commission staffing and recruitment, the creation of regional subsidiary bodies, and voter registration.

2011 Elections
election commission
election management body
election monitoring
legal frameworks
constitution drafting
Focus Area(s)
Critical Tasks
Election schedules
Election security
Legal framework
Legal structure
Organization and staffing
Peace councils
Political liaison
Rapid results
Securing elections
Vote counting
Voter education
Voter registration
Core Challenge
Dispute resolution (compliance)
Country of Reform
Case Studies
Daniel Tavana