Members of Tunisia’s Independent High Electoral Commission (ISIE) took the oath of office on Wednesday January 15th. Preparations for the elections must be accelerated in order to avoid political and economic risks to the country, President Moncef Marzouki said at the swearing-in ceremony. The nine ISIE members were elected by the National Constituent Assembly on January 8th. The officials are tasked with overseeing the upcoming presidential and legislative elections. Former Prime Minister Ali Larayedh linked his resignation to the election of the body. [AFP/Fethi Belaid] Tunisian Constituent Assembly Speaker Mustapha Ben Jaafar casts his ballot as MPs vote for electoral commission members on January 8th. The commissioners were selected from hundreds of candidates amid political bickering that almost shook the process of democratic transition in Tunisia. Their ultimate selection was considered a step towards political detente, according to politicians.
“Every party wants to set eyes within this body and this is what hindered the selection process. The important thing now is to put the interest of Tunisia above everyone,” said Taher Hmila, a member of the Constituent Assembly.
The process stumbled for months because of the objection of the Administrative Court in Tunis to the method of selecting members.
Ahmed Soueb of the Administrative Court said that the members of the screening committee did not respect rank order when choosing members. However, after changing the method of selecting members, the assembly succeeded in electing the body.
Full Article: Tunisia selects electoral body | Magharebia.