Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Communist Workers Party of Tunisia: Statement on the Elections

Declaration on the Elections to the Constituent Assembly
On the evening of October 27, 2011, the Superior Independent Election Commission (ISIE) published the provisional results of the elections to the Constituent Assembly. The Ennahdha movement came out on top, followed respectively by the Congress for the Republic (CPR), the Democratic Forum for Labor and Liberties (FDTL), the People's Petition for Freedom, Justice and Development… the Communist Party of the Workers of Tunisia (PCOT) won only three seats, in Sfax, Kairouan and Siliana.

The PCOT has noted that these elections, the first since the revolution, were pluralist, open to all parties and all political and ideological trends. However, it cannot help pointing out the irregularities that tainted them, in the interests of truth, far from the hypocrisy of the Ben Ali era, which excels in praise and conceals the truth from the people.

1. According to the official figures of the ISIE, the rate of participation did not exceed 48.9%, which means that the majority of voters (3,867,197 out of 7,569,824 voters) did not take part in the election. One should question what are the causes of this low participation, particularly in view of the general political and social circumstances in which the vote took place.

2. Money played a dirty and dangerous role in these elections, by "political advertising" which did not escape anyone, by large-scale corruption in the form of "gifts" to the electors and “charitable and social services". These acts persisted up to the day of the elections and in the face of which the ISIE proved impotent.

3. The media still under the control of the agents of the former regime, including the public media, promoted certain political forces to the detriment of others. They did not allow public opinion to understand the issues in the elections to the Constituent Assembly; rather, they focused on secondary themes and sowed confusion about issues relating to religious beliefs.

4. During these elections religion has been seriously exploited in the mosques and public spaces. For example, most of the sermons on Friday, October 21, only two days before the elections, called implicitly or explicitly for a vote for certain parties against others, under the pretext that they represent the religion or that their members pray, which reminds us of the practices of the Ben Ali era.

5. The exploitation of religion goes along with base campaigns of slander against the revolutionary and democratic forces, such as our party. Orchestrated by reactionary and counter-revolutionary forces, these campaigns diverted the attention of the people from the real political, economic, social and cultural issues but also their division based on religious criteria.

6. Several irregularities were committed on the day of the vote, including by members of the polling stations. Private buses and cars were used to transport voters, especially those who were not registered voluntarily, the election campaign continued until election day, including in front of the polling stations to encourage people to vote for certain lists, food and drinks were distributed inside the polling stations, etc.

Reported by watchdog agencies, independent reports and observers, these violations of the principles of democratic elections sully the honesty and transparency of the elections. One way or another they influenced the results of the elections. The attempt of the ISIE to minimize their importance reveals its inability to thwart them.

7. The successive reports of the announcement of the results call into question the transparency of the elections. The coming days may reveal the causes of these multiple postponements.

8. The PCOT, which participated in this election, was the first to call for the election of a Constituent Assembly to break with the tyranny. It led a clean campaign on the financial and political but also ethical plane. It focused on its proposals and programs, relying on the will of its activists. It was also faced with a very defamatory campaign and suffered from a flagrant media blockade.

The results obtained by the PCOT are weak; they do not reflect its involvement on the ground, its roots, its militant history and its vanguard role in the Tunisian revolution against the dictatorship. While it is true that these results are related to the above-mentioned general climate, the organs of the party never failed to evaluate and analyze our responsibilities.

9. Besides these results, the PCOT will continue to fight tirelessly, alongside the workers and the popular strata, for the fulfillment of the objectives of the revolution and the establishment of a genuine democratic, patriotic and popular change.
In this campaign, the PCOT was able to win many supporters, convinced by its program, its positions, its credibility and its principles; they will form the solid basis of a new start in order to meet future challenges.

On this occasion, the PCOT wishes to thank all those who supported it and gave it their vote, it assures them that its representatives in the Constituent Assembly will strenuously defend the mission for which they were elected.

Communist Party of the Workers of Tunisia

44, rue de Palestine
1002 Tunis, Tunisia

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