In Tunis, municipal elections are on the horizon. However, democracy is at risk. Registration to vote is very weak and there is a clear reluctance among the many Tunisian political parties to participate. The municipal and regional elections are the democratic exercise in post-revolution Tunisia since the last elections took place in 2010. And they are especially significant because these councils used to be appointed by the Head of State. … But according to Nabil Bafoun, a member of the Independent High Electoral Commission, the process suffers from the absence of political parties and a lack of seriousness regarding the involvement of civil society in the process of voter registration. In press statements, Bafoun has said that the number of registered voters in this election has so far reached 167,770 voters, including 30,252 updates for registrants who changed their residence addresses.
The voter registration process began on 19 June and continues till 10 August. The Electoral Commission shall announce the final list of voters after the expiry of the appeals, by 18 September.
Most of the political parties, more than 200, are not eager to hold municipal elections on time due to their inability to stand in all 384 municipalities. This has prompted some political leaders to call for the postponement of the municipal elections to the beginning of next year for various reasons.
Such reasons include trying to gain more time to organize priorities and look for candidates. Yet others site issues linked to the fear that small parties will lose out to larger ones, including “Ennahdha” and “Nidaa Tounes”.