Interviewed by AfricanManager, on Saturday, October 29, 2011, Maria Espinosa, deputy chief of mission found the electoral process positive in 97% of the observed polling stations. Interview:
After the preliminary results were published by the ISIE, what do you think of this first electoral test? Indeed, the election observation mission presented its preliminary statement at a news conference.
She found that this election is an encouraging step on the way to establish democracy. In fact, we considered that the ISIE, the main contact, has already adopted a transparent approach.
Now and as the process is not finished, we are in the phase of litigation. We look yet to assess the rest of the process until the announcement of final results.
What is your opinion about the results?
What we appreciate is that the majority of Tunisia had the opportunity to vote in transparency and freedom in the midst of an integrity of this process so they can express themselves freely.
In our preliminary statement we said that all conditions have been met, despite the presence of some small problems. But, overall, Tunisians voted according to their choice in a transparent climate and there was the necessary freedom to express themselves.
Now, the process continues with the announcement of preliminary results. For now, there is the litigation and the EOM is staying here until mid-November to see, observe, and also evaluate how the second post-election period is managed. And, here we are.
Since the official announcement of results, the number of appeals filed to the plenary assembly of the Administrative Court reached 24 to the morning of Saturday, October 29. They will be treated from Sunday, October 30, 2011.
Can we give more details about irregularities?
We can mention a number of irregularities, including errors in the logos of some lists, the lack of a list on the ballot paper and an error in the transcription of the name of another list.
What can you say about the rise of Hachmi Hamdi?
Elected officials are not owned by anyone. Elected officials belong to the Tunisians who have decided to vote for them.
What are your recommendations so that Tunisia can improve future elections?
In late December, the Election Observation Mission will publish its final report which will contain a detailed assessment of the electoral process as well as recommendations for improving future polls.