Dozens of EU observers to monitor Tunisian elections
TUNIS - EU election observers are preparing to monitor Tunisia’s upcoming vote that will be a crucial test of the country’s young democracy at a time of regional crisis.
Ten electoral experts from the European Union will be joined by 28 long-term observers and 28 short-term observers ahead of the presidential and legislative elections, which are scheduled for September 15 and October 6, respectively, said deputy head of the EU observation mission Marie-Violette Cesar at a news conference in Tunis.
Thirty EU diplomats will join the observation team, which is to be dispersed throughout Tunisia on Election Day. Working in conjunction with local civil society organisations and at the invitation of Tunisia’s Independent High Authority for Elections, the EU team is to make an objective assessment of the electoral process that will be submitted days after the vote, Cesar said.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Tunisia’s elections are “an important step” in its democratic transition and that “accompanying it on this path is an important priority” for the European Union.
“This new Election Observation Mission… confirms the EU’s unwavering commitment to democracy in Tunisia,” said Mogherini.
The observation mission is led by Fabio Massimo Castaldo, a European parliament vice-president who has led electoral observation missions in Tunisia, Nigeria and Moldova and serves on the EU-Tunisia Joint Parliamentary Commission.