The case of Tunisian elections following the Arab Spring: How polling is necessary to understand the influence of cultural, religious and political groups

Nébil Belaam
EMRHOD, Tunisia

Introduction

Tunisia is a Northern Africa country located on the south of the Mediterranean Sea, between Libya on the east and Algeria on the west.


Figure 1: Tunisia

Tunisia received its independence in 1956 after 75 years of French protectorate. The country has been governed, first for 31 years by Habib Bourguiba: a charismatic and forward-thinking leader who supported the rights of women, secularism, and widespread education unmatched by any other Arab nation.

Tunisia was then governed for 23 years by General Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who was during the lead of Bourguiba the Director of Security, then Minister of Internal Affairs, and finally Prime Minister. The last position has directly and quickly led to the overthrow of Habib Bourguiba in a "Medical Putsch" on November 7, 1987.