Since 2011, Switzerland has assisted Tunisia in its constitutional reform and election processes to support the development of the country's new democracy. An Arabic-speaking Swiss expert on constitutional law was engaged by the Peace and Human Rights Division (PHRD) to assist parliamentarians in search of a compromise to help the new Tunisian constitution achieve majority approval in parliament. This culminated in the entry into force of the new constitution on 27 January 2014. Switzerland continued this support in 2016, when it organised a high-level visit for members of the Tunisian Assembly of the Representatives of the People to deepen their knowledge of parliamentary processes.
In the run-up to the 2011 and 2014 elections, the PHRD also supported the reform of the system to elect members of the National Constituent Assembly. With the NGO Democracy Reporting International, it contributed to the drafting of a study on the advantages and potential impact of the changes to the system. A federal judge from Switzerland took part in a high-level seminar on electoral dispute procedures organised by the PHRD, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems and the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe.
In 2014, together with the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue in Geneva and a group of election experts from Switzerland and Tunisia, Switzerland provided support in terms of content and financing for the inter-party dialogue on a code of conduct (the Tunisian Charter of Honour) aimed at preventing outbreaks of violence during the elections.
During the 2019 presidential and legislative elections, the PHRD supported a Carter Center project to mitigate digital threats to democracy and increase participation among young people and women. Finally, the PHRD also supported the Munathara Initiative, which organised the first televised electoral debates in Tunisia and the Arab world.
Tunisian Charter of Honour
Tunisia: Support for the democratic transition (Democracy Without Borders)
Press release on Tunisian parliamentary delegation study trip in Switzerland in 2016