Statement on the elections of the Constituent Assembly

The Independent Higher Electoral body (ISIE) issued the preliminary results of the Constituent Assembly on the evening of the 27th of October 2011. Al-Nahda Movement came first, followed respectively by the Congress for the Republic (CPR), the Democratic Forum for Labour and Liberties (FDTL) and the Popular Petition for Freedom, Justice and Development …The Tunisian Communist Workers Party (PCOT) only won three seats in Sfax, Kairouan and Siliana.

The PCOT has noted that these elections, the first since the Revolution, were pluralistic and open to all parties and all ideological and political trends. However, the party highlights the irregularities that have marred these elections, for the sake of the truth, away from the wooden language, inherited from the Ben Ali era, which hides the truth from the people.

1. According to the official figures of the ISIE, the turnout did not exceed 48.9% which means that the majority of voters (3.867.197voters out of 7.569.824) did not participate in the vote. Questions have to be asked about the causes of this low turnout, given the general political and social circumstances in which the voting took place.

2. Money played a dirty and dangerous role in these elections through ‘The political advertisement’ and through large scale corruption in the form of the giveaway of ‘gifts’ to voters and the provision of ‘social services and charity works’; Acts that continued until the Election Day to which ISIE appeared to be powerless.

3. The media, still under the control of the agents of the former regime, including the public media, favoured some political forces over others. They did not help the public to understand the stakes of the elections of the Constituent Assembly and, instead, concentrated on marginal themes and created confusion around issues related to faith.

4. Religion was severely exploited in mosques and in public spaces during these elections. For example, most Friday sermons on Friday 21st of October, two days before the elections, implicitly asked people to vote for certain parties against other parties claiming that they represent the religion and that its followers pray , which reminds us of the same methods that were used by Ben Ali.

5. The use of religion went hand in hand with low smear campaigns against the revolutionary and democratic forces like our party. Orchestrated by reactionary forces and anti-revolutionaries, these campaigns aimed at diverting people’s attention from the real political, economic, social and cultural issues but tearing apart their unity on the basis of religious criteria.

6. Several irregularities were committed on the polling day, including irregularities made by members of the polling stations. Cars and private buses were used to bring voters especially those who had not voluntarily registered, the electoral campaign continued up until the Election Day, notably in front of the polling stations to encourage people to vote for some lists, food and drinks were distributed inside the polling stations… &n bsp;

Reported by oversight bodies, independent reports and observers, these violations of the principles of democratic elections marred the transparency of the elections. They influenced the election results. The attempts of the ISIE to minimise their importance reveals its inability to counteract them.

7. The successive postponements of the announcement of the poll results leave question marks over the transparency of the elections. The coming days might reveal the causes of the multiple adjournments.

8. The Tunisian Communist Workers Party which participated in this election was the first political party to call for the election of a constituent assembly to put an end to tyranny. The party led a clean campaign financially, morally and politically. It focused on programs and proposals, relying on the will of its militants and activists. It had to face a big smear campaign and suffered a flagrant media blockade.

The results obtained by the Tunisian Communist Workers Party are low; they do not reflect its involvement on the scene, its roots, its militant history and its vanguard role in the Tunisian Revolution against dictatorship. While these results are related to the general climate discussed above, the bodies of the party will surely evaluate and analyse our responsibilities.

9. Beyond these results, the Tunisian Communist Workers Party will continue to fight relentlessly alongside the workers and the lower class in order to accomplish the objectives of the revolution and to establish a real democratic, patriotic and popular change.

During this campaign, the Tunisian Communist Workers Party was able to win many supporters convinced by its program, its positions, its credibility and its principles. They will form a solid foundation for a new beginning to raise the future challenges.

The Tunisian Communists Workers Party would like to salute all those who supported the party and voted for it. The party assures them that their representatives in the Constituent Assembly will fiercely defend the mission for which they have been elected.

The Tunisian Communist Workers Party
National Leadership
Tunis on the 29th of October 2011