National Democratic Institute 3

Continued – International Observation Delegations for Tunisia’s 2014 Elections

Without taking for granted the various advantages that international attention can certainly bring to this particularly precarious period in Tunisia’s history, one must nonetheless remain avidly critical and discerning of foreign actors and interests. It would appear vital not only to do a bit of background and historical research relating to institutions such as NDI, IRI, The Carter Center, the European Union, etc. etc., but also to engage with delegations to ask questions, to understand objectives and to notice what-is-being-said in correlation/contrast with what-is-being-done.

American IRI and NDI Observation Delegations for Tunisia’s 2014 Elections

In Tunisia, public opinion has often questioned the authenticity of foreign initiatives to facilitate the country’s transition to democracy, based largely on skepticism of, for instance, the US’ silence/complicity in (a lack of truly democratic) political processes that kept Ben Ali in power for over two decades. Shortly after the President’s fled the country in January 2011, questions posed during a press conference at the US Embassy in Tunis on 21 February expressed as much; one Tunisian journalist explicitly asked, «How can we trust you?»