US Ambassador to Tunisia: local elections milestone in democratic transition process | Tunisia News Gazette

US Ambassador to Tunisia: local elections milestone in democratic transition process

US Ambassador to Tunisia Daniel Rubinstein said, Saturday in Hammamet, local elections in Tunisia constitute “a historic turning point in the process of democratic transition and a decisive step on the way to achieving participatory democracy”.

“The brave choice made by the Tunisian people is a source of inspiration for many, what happened in Tunisia is one hundred percent Tunisian and those who still believe that the architect of this revolution and this democratic transition is American or European are wrong “.

The US ambassador, who was taking part in the conference of partners of organisation I Watch in Hammamet, said: “it is the Tunisian people who have chosen the path of democracy and not the United States or other countries”.

The historical and positive changes initiated by the Tunisian people confirm the crucial role of civil society in preserving these achievements and the success of the democratic process, he pointed out.

He added: “any change, progress or reform is not the sole responsibility of governments but is the fruit of genuine co-operation with civil society”.

For his part, the political adviser of the European Union in Tunisia indicated that the EU has deployed an electoral observation team that will ensure from Monday the observation of the municipal electoral process in Tunisia.

She stressed the importance of the role of civil society in the success of the democratic process and one of the main projects undertaken in Tunisia which is the achievement of decentralization.

The I Watch partners’ conference runs for two days in Hammamet with the participation of 40 organisations representing 20 governorates.

Mustapha Ben Ezzine, director of the local civil society capacity-building program “I Assist” said the Hammamet meeting kicks off the cooperation programme between I Watch and the partner organisations that will continue for two years and will be dedicated, in the first part, to the municipal elections (May 2018) until the presidential election in 2019.

The second part of the programme will be dedicated to the issue of local governance, he told TAP.

For his part, I Watch President Ashraf Aouadi said his organisation will provide logistical and material support to the partner organisations that will be in charge of monitoring the electoral operation.

He recalled that the I Watch organisation will be in charge of monitoring the financing of the electoral campaign of the following parties and coalition lists: Ennahdha, Nidaa Tounes, Tounes Al Irada, the Democratic Movement, the Civil Union and the Popular Front.

Source: TAP News Agency

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