samedi 15 octobre 2011

The end of the "Haute Instance"

Yadh Ben Achour, President of the HI
It was on Thursday (October 13th) that the "Haute Instance pour la réalisation des objectifs de la révolution" (HI), the group that oversaw the political transformation in Tunisia post-Ben Ali, stopped its functions. For the occasion, all Tunisian's most important politicians as well as a number of artists gathered in Bardo to watch the closing ceremonies. Among those present were secretary-generals of the parties, Prime Minister Essebsi and President Mebazaâ, who spoke to the audience. The President took the opportunity to congratulate the HI’s efforts to lead the transition to democracy.

The majority of Tunisian media also applauded their work. Here is a brief overview of the things the HI accomplished.

Fist of all, it pushed the Election Day back from its original date on July 24th to the current one on October 23rd. They also decided that the proportional system would be used. To see how the system works, click here.

The Haute Instance has transferred the responsibility of organizing the election to the Instance Supérieure Indépendante pour les Élections (ISIE). The ISIE determined which parties could be eligible to run and took the decision to bar all extremist parties. They also banned publicity and prediction polls during the campaign.

Two of the most mediatized decisions made by the HI were to forbid ex RCD members from running and also to impose parity among the sexes in the electoral lists. That last one is a true leap forward in the Arab world and will undoubtedly go down in history.

The rules that the HI imposed regarding parties financing made many cringe, especially the bigger parties that opposed the legislation. This move helped smaller parties and independents.

Finally we can't overlook the fact that the HI signed a common declaration with the 12 largest parties to establish a code of conduct during the campaign and to make sure they can only be seated at the Assembly for a year before calling an election.

This decision is certainly the HI’s most important contribution and showed its quality and capability to deal fairly with all parties.

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