Last update: 7 months ago

Tunisia, the only democracy to have arisen from the 2011 Arab Spring, has been in turmoil in recent years. Although the 2011 ‘Jasmine Revolution’ had toppled the corrupted Ben Ali regime that was in power since 1989, the new administration remained unable to lift Tunisia from its economic woes. At first, the new political set-up was perceived legitimate, and the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet was hailed in accommodating Tunisia’s path to democracy. In latest years, public support for the post-2011 set-up deteriorated.

In July 2019, Tunisia’s first democratically chosen president Beji Caid Essebsi passed away. Kais Saied became his successor after a landslide victory at the 2019 parliamentary polls. Since then, Tunisia is in turmoil. The socio-economic situation was worsening, and demonstrations against incumbent parties over the bad handling of the coronavirus pandemic, corruption and government dysfunction were ongoing.

On July 25, 2021, Saied suspended parliament, dismissed PM Mechichi and ended immunity for parliamentarians. Tunisia is in a process of democratic backsliding ever since and Saied is de facto ruling by presidential decree. He took control over the judiciary and electoral commission and under his rule, security forces repress civil activists, journalists and parliamentarians. Saied also appointed the first female PM, Najla Bouden, in September 2021. Her appointment seemed rather symbolic, as she holds no effective power without a functioning parliament.

In December 2021, Saied proposed a timetable towards a constitutional referendum (July 25, 2022) and early elections (December 17, 2022). Towards the referendum, an online consultation process should advise amendments towards an constitutional commission. Civil society organizations and political parties have withdrew their support for this process altogether, as Saied has taken power over all policy outcomes. In June 2022, Saied’s intents towards authoritarianism became more clear as he sacked 57 judges unilaterally. The Tunisian civil society has planned massive protest to demand a return towards the democratic path.

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Map of Tunisia

Short facts

11,935,764 (World Bank 2021)
Governmental Type:
Ruling Coalition:
Ennahda, Tahya Tounes, Tunisian Alternative
Last Elections:
2019 (parliamentary and presidential elections)
Next Elections:
December 17, 2022 (parliamentary elections)
Sister Parties:
Democratic Forum for Labour and Liberties (FDTL) - Ettakatol
Image of Kais Saied

Kais Saied


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Image of Najla Bouden (Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B1%D8%A6%D9%8A%D8%B3_%D8%AA%D8%A8%D9%88%D9%86_%D9%8A%D8%B3%D8%AA%D9%82%D8%A8%D9%84_%D8%B1%D8%A6%D9%8A%D8%B3%D8%A9_%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD%D9%83%D9%88%D9%85%D8%A9_%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AA%D9%88%D9%86%D8%B3%D9%8A)

Najla Bouden

Prime Minister

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Political Situation

Tunisian revolution and the political situation under Ben Ali

The current political situation in Tunisia is the result of the popular unrest that erupted in the first half of 2011 after a young man set himself on fire in Sidi Bouzid on 17 December 2010. Before the popular uprising and Tunisia’s legislative elections of 2011, the country underwent a long period of authoritarian rule. The frustration of the man concerning the high unemployment rate, living conditions, the economic situation and annoyance with the ruling elite was shared by many Tunisians. Demonstrations occurred around the country for weeks and resulted in the ouster of President Ben Ali on 14 January 2011. Fouad Mebezaa, the speaker of the Tunisian parliament, was sworn in as the country's interim president on 15 January and on 17 January a new government was formed by Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi. It is said that over 338 people were killed during the Tunisian uprising.

2014 new constitution and the political system

Tunisia’s National Constituent Assembly approved a new constitution for the country on 25 January 2014. It was praised as one of the Arab World’s most progressive charters, by recognizing Islam as the state religion, but also protecting freedom of belief and gender parity in politics and society. It also ensures political pluralism by affirming the opposition’s rights. On October 26, 2014, the country’s first parliamentary elections under the newly adopted constitution were set to take place.  Although Tunisia's new constitution reaffirms the pre-existing Republican system, in which the executive power is held by the president for five years with the help of the prime minister, it modified the legislative power.

Until January 2014 the parliament was bicameral, composed of a Chamber of Deputies and a Chamber of Advisors. Today, it is composed of a sole Chamber, the Assembly of the Representatives of the People. The leader of the majority party or coalition after elections is designated by the president as prime minister. The prime minister is tasked to form a government and functions as the head of government, mainly being responsible for domestic policies. The parliament consists of 217 seats, which are elected based on party-list proportional representation for a term of five year. However, parliament can be dissolved by the president under special circumstances. Tunisia is administratively divided into 24 governorates, headed by governors who are appointed by the president. The country enjoys competitive elections thanks to lively partisan life, which is constitutionally guaranteed by article 35.

Lack of a Constitutional Court

One of the great improvements in the 2014 constitution is the creation of a Constitutional Court, which restricts the legislative power and prevents laws that would go against rights and freedoms from being ratified. However, the Constitutional Court has so far not been full-functioning. The political parties in parliament have only been able to appoint one judge so far, leaving three vacant posts in the Court made up of twelve judges. Part of the reasons that parliament has only appointed one judge so far, is that choosing judges is a polarizing process, just like in the United States. Another cause was the coalition’s desire to avoid polarizing for the sake of stability and consensus. When in April of 2021 the parliament passed a bill to finalize the set-up of the Constitutional Court, in order to resolve the power conflicts between the president and prime minister, President Saied refused to ratify the bill.

President Saied’s election as a turning point

After President Beji Caid Essebsi passed away in 2019 a new president was chosen in October of that year, law professor Kais Saied. A month later Tunisia also held parliamentary elections that led to a four month long political crisis over the formation of a government. After the elections, the biggest party Ennahda put forward a prime minister from its own ranks, namely agricultural engineer Habib Jemli. In January 2020 Jemli proposed a cabinet made up of independent technocrats in a bid to satisfy the population who had continuously protested against the deteriorating conditions in the country. However, this proposal was rejected by parliament, with only 72 of 217 sets backing it, including by Ennahda’s potential coalition partners. Ennahda was therefore forced to compromise.

It was then up to President Saied to choose a new candidate for prime minister. He chose former finance minister Elyes Fakhfakh, linked to the Ettakatol party, on the 20th of January 2020, hoping that his economic background would help save the worsening economy in the country. However, in July 2020, he resigned in the wake of controversy regarding alleged conflict of interest with company shares he owned. This has never been proven though and in 2022 his name was legally cleared. From September 2020, Tunisia’s new prime minister is the independent Hichem Mechichi. As Saied, he had no previous experience in politics and initiated the formation of another cabinet made up of independents. However since then he has come under more pressure from parliament though, who have raised their price for support, demanding more representation.

As a result, without the consent of President Saied, Mechichi reshuffled his cabinet in January of 2021. Four ministers considered loyal to President Saied were replaced. The largest party in parliament, the Ennahda movement, had been most vocal pushing for a cabinet with more “political colour”. President Saied was not amused by Mechichi’s decision and has called the reshuffle unconstitutional. Whether Saied is correct in saying this cannot be decided though, because Tunisia still lacks a full-functioning Constitutional Court, which was created in 2014. Parliament had for years been unable to appoint three judges. When it did so in April of 2021, Saied refused to accept the appointment of the judges, illustrating how Tunisia's power struggles between the president, prime minister and parliament have led to a political deadlock. Tunisia is struggling in an economic crisis, which was only worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, in the beginning of 2021 protests erupted, and have been ongoing, in multiple Tunisian cities. People are disillusioned by the political process, which in their eyes was transformed by political parties into a clash of ambitions and personalities.

Saied’s July 25 “self-coup”

Events really unfolded on July 25, 2021, when President Saied dismissed Mechichi and ended the activities of the Tunisian Assembly under Article 80 emergency powers under the constitution. Saied said to take this decision after fierce protests against Ennahda, economic problems and an enormous surge in coronavirus cases that had rocked the country’s fragile healthcare system. Political parties in the Assembly reacted furious to Saied’s actions to suspend parliament, and asked their supporters to rally against Saied. In response to the fierce protests, Saied imposed a month-long curfew from 26 July onwards. On 24 August 2021, Saied said to extend the period of “extraordinary measures” until further notice. As of June 2022, it is still in place. Meanwhile, various activists and journalists were arrested and prosecuted for comments against Saied, starting a period of severe crackdown on civil society in Tunisia. From 25 July onwards, Saied starting ruling by presidential decree, completely sidelining Tunisia’s parliament.

President Saied has defended his actions by saying that they are needed to address a crisis of political paralysis, economic stagnation and a poor response to the coronavirus pandemic. He has promised to uphold rights and not become a dictator. Nevertheless, critics are skeptical of these promises, and domestic pressure has been mounting.

On 22 September, Saied signed a decree that gave him extensive presidential powers, such as directly making changes to Tunisia’s constitution and parliament, giving him the power to dissolve parliament. Meanwhile, the crackdown on Tunisia’s civil activists and post-2011 institutions continued. Two prominent members of parliament, Faycal Tebbini and Seifeddine Makhlouf, were jailed and the freedom of various judges was severely restricted. The repression on journalists has been severe. After July 25, arbitrary detention, judicial prosecution and illegal censorship has been documented widely. On September 29, Saied appointed Najla Bouden as Tunisia’s new PM and gave her the mandate to form a new government. Bouden is the first female PM in Tunisia and the Arab world. On October 11, a new administration commenced under her lead. The Bouden-administration seemed largely symbolic, as legislation cannot pass the suspended parliament.

Whereas Saied had provisional support in Tunisia on the eve of his coup, this support had now deteriorated. The economic crisis seemed only to be worsening and Saied had been unable to present any perspective to the future. The powerful labor union UGTT called for early elections in December 2021. It had previously supported Saied, but said that concrete reform was taking too long. On the 13th of December President Kais Saied announced a new set of measures: a referendum on the constitution will be held on July 25th 2022, followed by parliamentary elections on December 17th 2022.

Towards the July 25 consitutional referendum

Despite Saied’s framework towards 2022 elections, the situations kept escalating towards authoritarianism. Various civil society organizations united and public opinion turned against Saied and protests against the president’s power grab became more frequent. At a violent crackdown on protests on January 14, 2022, 57-year old protester Rhida Bouziane was killed, only increasing the social unrest surrounding Saied’s policies. Oppositional parties and civil society organizations also started to work together to mobilize a united political front against Saied under ‘Citizens against the Coup’.

Meanwhile, an online consultation process had commenced on January 15, 2022, in which Tunisians can participate in shaping political reform. From Jan. 15 until March, Tunisians can voice their opinion on six topics. Saied has hailed it as a success, and 100,000 allegedly joined. The consultation process seems problematic, as one-third of Tunisians have no internet access. Furthermore, it is marred in privacy issues. Lastly, Saied has the final say in the constitution, as he appoints the commission responsible in drafting it.

On February 7, president Saied has dissolved the Supreme Judicial Council (CSM). The CSM was installed in 2016, and oversees the independence of Tunisia’s judicial system. Saied accuses the council of corruption, noting it '‘sells positions, appointments according to affiliations’’ and that ‘’you cannot imagine the money that certain judges have been able to receive, billions and billions’’. Activists and international observes had denounced the suspension of the CSM. Saied afterwards said he will establish a new CSM, which he will appoint. On February 24, Saied said he intends to ban foreign funding for domestic civil society organizations because he wants to “end foreign interference”. 

New developments followed in March 2022, as Tunisia’s speaker of parliament Ghannouchi said he wanted to hold two sessions of Tunisia’s suspended parliament, defying Saied. In reaction, the president – further cementing the belief that he is working towards implementing authoritarian rule – completely dissolved parliament. Political parties and civil organizations reject the dissolvement, many of which also say to boycott the July 25 referendum. On the Tunisian streets, protests against Saied intensified as many defy the ban on gatherings – this was especially visible later on May 15 when thousands of Tunisians took to the streets to protests against Saied.

More unilateral decisions by presidential decree follow suit. On March 6, Saied changes the electoral law – parliamentarians will not be elected in two rounds and individually rather than by list at the December 17 polls. On March 22, he takes control over the electoral commission, replacing all members. In May, Saied commenced his ‘national dialogue’ on the constitution after ending the online consultation process. Almost all civil society organizations and political parties have rejected participation in this dialogue, citing the complete control of Saied over the process and its outcome.

On June 1, Saied sacked 57 judges, massively harming Tunisia’s judicial independence again. Massive protests followed, and the Tunisian judiciary issued a one-week strike. Meanwhile the UGTT is preparing a massive strike on June 16, further pressurizing Saied.  

A timeline of events since July 25

July 25, 2021

Kais Saied suspends parliament, imposes curfew, cracks down on civil activists and journalists

August 24,  2021

Saied prolongs extraordinary measures ‘until further notice’

September 22, 2021

By presidential decree, Saied assumes far-reaching powers under the constitution, such as dissolving the parliament

September 29, 2021

Saied appoints Najla Bouden as Tunisia’s first female PM

October 11, 2021

The Bouden-administration commences, with new ministers, largely symbolic as parliament is still dissolved

December 5, 2021

Tunisia’s mighty labor union UGTT denounces Saied’s moves, calling for early elections

December 13, 2021

Saied presents a timetable towards a constitutional referendum (July 25, 2022) and parliamentary elections (December 17, 2022)

January 15 – March 15, 2022

Start of an online consultation process on a new Tunisian constitution

February 7, 2022

Saied dissolves the Supreme Judicial Council

February 18

Saied extends state of emergency until December 31, 2022

February 24

Saied outlaws foreign funding of civil society organizations

March 30

Saied dissolves Tunisia’s parliament altogether

April 6

Saied changes the electoral law for the December 17 elections

April 22

Saied takes control over electoral commission, replacing all its members unilaterally

May 15

Thousands of Tunisians protest against Saied, demanding a return to democracy

May 31

UGTT calls for massive strike on June 16

June 1

Saied sacks 57 judges, massive protests follow

IMF bailout

The prolonged political crisis, the persistent economic instability, increased social tension and high unemployment caused Tunisia to ask the IMF for a four year program (the Extended Fund Facility) to support their economic modernization plan, the country’s development model and help reduce existing vulnerabilities. The COVID-19 pandemic only made the structural problems the country is facing even more apparent, so in April 2020 the IMF Executive Board approved a $745 million disbursement to Tunisia to address the Corona crisis. A couple of months later in June 2020 the IMF also approved a four year loan of $2.9 billion to support the authorities’ economic agenda aimed at promoting more inclusive growth and job creation, while protecting the most vulnerable households. During 2021-2022, the economic situation deteriorated further due to Saied’s power grab and subsequent increasing international isolation. Tunisia remains in talks with the IMF, as with other parties such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE for an alleviation of its economic needs.

Gender representation and women’s rights

Tunisia is often said to be the most progressive Arab country in terms of women’s rights. In fact, female representation in parliament has risen to 31% since 2011. The constitution of 2014 not only grants equality of men and women but also includes a “guarantee of equality of opportunity” and aims “to achieve equal representation…in elected councils'' in article 46, stating clear goals. In 2017 two further laws, which strengthened women's rights, passed the parliament. Since June domestic violence has been criminalized and Muslim women are able to marry non-Muslim men (interfaith marriages), which according to Islamic law, is not allowed.

Additionally, the parliament abolished a reform which would have allowed rapists to escape punishments by marrying the victim.

However, progress has its barriers in Tunisia. Men are still considered to be the one who takes care of the family and its finances, although a growing number of female workers has been entering the labour market. Restrictions come from the rulings of the Islamic law, highly influential religious institutions and most importantly society itself. Former president Beji Caid Essbsi’s steps towards giving women more rights (mainly to show the world how modern Tunisia is), have been heavily criticised as “stateimposed feminism”. Many say that the government is touching Tunisian cultural roots and strongly oppose new laws like the inheritance law, granting women the same amount as men.

LGBTI rights

The LGBTI community continues to suffer on Tunisia’s religion based laws. Protests for more rights of LGBTI groups have been shut down for various reasons. Hate speech in public media is very common and government statements on the situation are very rare, although discrimination from TV stations and news agencies is forbidden. Homosexuality remains illegal and punishable in Tunisia under article 230 of the penal code. Critics have been repeatedly saying that article 230 violates constitutional rights such as equality before the law (article 21) and personal privacy (article 24). Through a new committee, established by the president, women’s rights and the status of the LGBTI community have been discussed and might be reformed through bills in the parliament.

The most recent improvement in Tunisia was the founding of the region’s first queer radio station ‘Shams’, which against many death threats, still broadcasts on the daily lives of LGBTI individuals. When in 2019 LGBTI activist Mounir Baatour announced he would be running for president, he became the first openly gay presidential candidate in the Arab world. Despite progress in such areas, in 2020 LGBTI people continued to be arrested on the ground of same sexual relations, referred to a “indecency” and “offensive to public morals”. Cross-dressing is not illegal, but transgender people and gay people are can be accused of violating Article 226, that considers it as “outrages against public decency”. Moreover, even though the UN’s proposal to end anal testing was accepted by the Tunisian government, it has not taken steps to live up to its promises.


Parliamentary elections

2019 parliamentary elections

On October 6th 2019 parliamentary elections were held in Tunisia. These were the first parliamentary elections since the 2014 parliamentary election, in which catch-all secular party Nidaa Tounes (also known as ‘Call of Tunisia’) became the biggest party with 86 seats, followed by the Ennahda movement (a moderate Islamic party) with 69 seats.The voter turnout was approximately 41%, which is slightly lower than that of the first round in the presidential elections of the previous month where the voter turnout was about 49%. The election results produced a fractured parliament with none of the parties receiving more than 20% of the votes.

The Ennahda Movement received the highest percentage of votes with 19.93% of the votes which translates into 52 seats. This constitutes a loss of 17 seats in comparison to the previous parliamentary elections but an increase of 5 percentage points in comparison to that of what its presidential candidate Abdelfattah Mourou received less than a month earlier. Two factors can explain the quick voter share increase. The first is that Ennahda endorsed Kais Saied, the winner of the first round of the presidential elections. Saied did not belong to or endorse any political party and therefore his voters were up for grabs in the parliamentary elections. Ennahda not only endorsed Saied but attempted to convince his voters that Ennahda was their best hope for forming a government that was friendly to a Saied presidency. Second, after Ennahda’s own presidential candidate Mourou finished third place in the presidential election, they reevaluated their campaign strategy. For the parliamentary election Ennahda focused on two fundamentals, namely religion and the revolution which in the end proved successful.

The second-largest party was the centre-left secular newcomer ‘Heart of Tunisia’ party. The party was established on the 20th of June 2019 by Nabil Karoui. Houda Knani was named the party’s president. She was a former member of the Free Patriotic Union that won 16 seats (third-biggest party) in the last election. However, due to internal disputes, many of its members resigned so the Free Patriotic Union decided to merge with Nidaa Tounes in 2018. Another newcomer to parliament was the right-wing secular Free

Destourian Party, founded by former members of Tunisia’s pre-revolution ruling party, which became the third biggest party winning 6.63% of the votes and was appointed 17 seats. Up until August 2016, the party was called the Destourian Movement. The movement participated in the 2014 parliamentary election but did not win any seats.

Dignity Coalition also came new to the scene winning 21 seats, making it the fourth-largest party. The alliance was formed in

February 2019 and consists of several parties and independents, such as the Tunisian Reform Front, the Congress for the Republic (CPR) and the Justice and Development Party. Their main goal is to advance the goals of the revolution, in which ‘dignity’ was one of the main slogans. Just ahead of the Dignity Coalition, Democratic Current won 22 seats making it the third-largest party.

Democratic current is a social-democratic party and was established in 2013. In the 2014 parliamentary election, the party just won 3 seats.

In fifth place finishes the People’s Movement party with 15 seats. The party is socialist, secular and Arab nationalist in nature. Closely following behind, in sixth place, came the secular party Tahya Tounes (Long Live Tunisia) with 14 seats. This party was formed in January of 2019 and mostly consists of former members of the Nidaa Tounes (Call of Tunisia) party after mass defection over internal disagreements whether or not president Essebsi’s son (Hafed Caid Essebsi) was fit to run the party. As a result, Nidaa Tounes’ seats fell from 86 in the 2014 parliamentary election to just 3 in the 2019 election.

International observers

According to the joint international election observation mission of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI), Tunisians were overall able to participate in a well-administered election despite confusion created by the overlapping presidential election and the shortened electoral timeline. De lower voter turnout of 41% compared to the 2014 parliamentary election where turnout was approximately 60% can according to the NDI and IRI be attributed to the continued frustration with persistent corruption and the ongoing economic crisis, as well as the lack of speed to implement reforms. This dissatisfaction is also reflected in the election results. Moreover, the election was held amidst high-security threats of terrorism which could have impacted voter turnout. However, officials overall did what they could to facilitate the election which is evident from the increase in protection at polling stations. The election observation mission of the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) stated as well that it had not found any serious election violations, echoing what the NDI and IRI said about Tunisians being able to participate in a well-administered election.

Official election results 

Party Votes Seats
Ennahda Movement 561,132 52
Heart of Tunisia 415,913 38
Free Destourian Party 189,356 17
Democratic Current 183,464 22
Dignity Coalition 169,651 21
People's Movement 129,604 15
Tahya Tounes 116,582 14
Republican People's Union 59,924 3
Aïch Tounsi 46, 401 1
Tunisian Alternative 46,046 3
Afek Tounes 43,892 2
Nidaa Tounes 43,213 3
Machrouu Tounes 40,869 4
Popular Front 32,365 1
Democratic and Social Union (VDS-PR-MDS) 29,828 1
Errahma 27,944 4
Current of Love 17,749 1
Socialist Destourian Party 16,235 1
Farmers' Voice Party 9,366 1
Green League 5,667 1
Other parties/lists 590,602 0
Independent lists 82,384 12

Presidential elections

The President

The head of state in Tunisia, the president, is directly elected by the electorate for a five-year term. Within a month of his or her election, the president must appoint a prime minister, who is tasked to form a government. The president in Tunisia is not merely a ceremonial position, but holds many executive powers. To illustrate, Article 77 of the Constitution of Tunisia states that the president is also the commander-in-chief of the Tunisian Armed Forces. In general, the president is mainly responsible for foreign policy, defense and national security, while the prime minister is responsible for domestic affairs. However, with powers to sign and execute laws and appoint and dismiss ministers, the president also holds a powerful position when it comes to domestic politics. On several domestic issues it remains unclear where the power exactly lies, with disputes between the president and prime minister as a consequence.

2019 presidential elections

On September 15th 2019 Tunisia held the first round of the presidential elections, followed by a second round on October 13th 2019. This was the second presidential election after the 2011 revolution. The election was originally planned on the 17th and 24th of November 2019, but because of the death of incumbent president Beji Caid Essebsi on the 25th of July, they were moved. According to the Tunisian constitution, a new president has to take office within 90 days because any interim president is only allowed to sit for that amount of time.

In the first round, independent candidate Kais Saied came in first out of 26 candidates, of which two were women. Saied was a newcomer to Tunisian politics but received more than 18% of the votes. Before the revolution, Saied was involved in academics but nevertheless became a well-known media figure through his comments on constitutional and legal issues after the fall of former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. He gained a huge following online, especially among young people, for his spontaneity, sincerity and comfort with public speaking that distinguished him from the traditional stereotype of politicians.

The runner up in the first round of the election was Nabil Karoui of Qalb Tounes (also known as Heart of Tunisia party) who ran his campaign from prison. Karoui was arrested on August 23rd on charges of corruption and money laundering. Before the first round of the election, the Assembly of Representatives (Tunisia’s legislative branch of government) passed an amendment to the law that prohibited candidates with a criminal record, as well as those who run charitable organizations or received foreign funding for political advertising in the year preceding an election, from running for president. The amendment caused a lot of controversies and a motion was filed by several political parties that called the move unconstitutional.

However, outgoing president Essebsi failed to ratify the legal amendment before he died which made it possible for Karoui to form the ‘Heart of Tunisia’ party and run for president, after all, winning nearly 16% of the votes. In third place, Ennahda’s candidate Abdelfattah Mourou came in a full five points behind Saied. The winner of the 2014 legislative elections, the Nidaa Tounes party, was completely absent from the presidential election after the death of former president and Nidaa Tounes founder Beji Caid Essebsi. After Essebsi’s death, the leaders of the party and its supporters all dispersed.

The second round of the election saw Saied and Karoui go head to head. Saied won by receiving 72.7% of the votes. Voter turnout was estimated at 55%. The Sigma polling institute determined that 90% of young people between 18 and 25 voted for Saied, compared to the 49.2% of voters over 60. The election day itself went by without any incidents, but despite that national and international observers reported that there were problems with the transparency and the integrity of the electoral contest. The National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI), who held a joined international election observation mission in Tunisia, for example, reported that they had concerns about candidates’ level of media access as well as about the coverage of the electoral campaign


Official election results

     First Round  Second Round
 Candidate  Party  Votes       -      Percentage  Votes          -      Percentage
 Kais Saied  Independent  620,711   -     18.40%  2,777,931   -      72.71%
 Nabil Karoui  Heart of Tunisia  525,517   -     15.58%  1,042,894   -      27.29%
 Abdelfattah Mourou  Ennahda Movement  434,530   -     12,88%  
 Abdelkrim Zbidi  Independent  361,864   -     10.73%  
 Youssef Chahed  Long Live Tunisia  249,049   -     7.38%  
 Safi Saïd  Independent  239,951   -     7.11%  
 Lotfi Mraihi  Republican People's Union  221,190   -     6.56%  
 Seiffedine Makhlouf  Dignity Coalition  147,351   -     4.37%  
 Abir Moussi  Free Destourian Party  135,461   -     4.02%  
 Mohamed Abbou  Democratic Current  122,287   -     3.63%  
 Moncef Marzouki  Movement Party  100,338   -     2.97%  
 Mehdi Jomaa  Tunisian Alternative  61,371     -     1.82%  
 Mongi Rahoui  Popular Front  27,355     -     0.81%  
 Hechmi Hamdi  Current of Love  25,284     -     0.7

Political parties

Social Democratic Parties

Logo of Democratic Current

Democratic Current

Party Leader: Mohamed Abbou

Number of seats: 22


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Logo of Democratic Forum for Labour and Liberties / Ettakatol

Democratic Forum for Labour and Liberties / Ettakatol (FDTL)

Party Leader: Khalil Zaoui


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Logo of Movement Party

Movement Party

Party Leader: Moncef Marzouki


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Other Parties

Logo of Ennahda Movement (or simply Ennahda)

Ennahda Movement (or simply Ennahda)

Party Leader: Rached Ghannouchi

Number of seats: 54


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Logo of Qalb Tounes (Heart of Tunisia)

Qalb Tounes (Heart of Tunisia)

Party Leader: Nabil Karoui

Number of seats: 29


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Logo of Dignity Coalition (Itilaf al-Karama)

Dignity Coalition (Itilaf al-Karama)

Party Leader: Seifeddine Makhlouf

Number of seats: 19

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Logo of Free Destourian Party

Free Destourian Party

Party Leader: Abir Moussi

Number of seats: 16


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Logo of People's Movement

People's Movement

Party Leader: Zouhair Maghzaoui

Number of seats: 15


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Logo of Tahya Tounes (Long Live Tunisia)

Tahya Tounes (Long Live Tunisia)

Party Leader: Youssef Chahed

Number of seats: 14


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Logo of Machrou Tounes

Machrou Tounes

Party Leader: Mohsen Marzouk

Number of seats: 4

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Logo of Nidaa Tounes (Call for Tunisia)

Nidaa Tounes (Call for Tunisia)

Party Leader: Hafedh Caïd Essebsi

Number of seats: 3

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Logo of Popular Front

Popular Front (el-Jabha)

Party Leader: Hamma Hammami

Number of seats: 1


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Image of Kais Saied

Kais Saied


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Najla Bouden

Prime Minister

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Rached Ghannouchi

Party leader Ennahda / Speaker of the House of People's Representatives

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Beji Caid Essebsi

Former President

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Khalil Zaouia

Party leader of Ettakatol

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Moncef Marzouki

Former interim President of Tunisia and Founder of the Congress for the Republic (CPR)

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Youssef Chahed

Party leader of Tahya Tounes and former Prime-Minister

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Abir Moussi

Party Leader of Free Destourian Party

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Nabil Karoui

Party leader of Qalb Tounes (Heart of Tunisia)

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Mohsen Marzouk

Party leader of Machrou Tounes

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Mohamed Abbou

Party eader of Democratic Current

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Hamma Hammami

Party leader of the Popular Front

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Hafedh Caïd Essebsi

Party leader of Nidaa Tounes

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