The British Embassy in Tunis was pleased to fund the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) to build the capacity of Tunisian institutions to keep track of election financing.
As part of the UKs’ Arab Partnership Programme investing around £2.5 million (over 6 million TND) in Tunisia this year alone, IFES and the Tunisian Court of Accounts organised a seminar to review and improve the electoral campaigns’ financial control procedures.
This seminar brought together a range of Tunisian institutions, including the High Independent Election Commission (ISIE) and various civil society organisations. It was an opportunity to review of the Tunisian Court of Accounts’ manual of procedures and discuss suitable ways to refine it to better meet international standards. The seminar used case studies drawn from foreign regulatory bodies such as the UK’s Central Election Commission, the French National Commission on Controlling Campaign Accounts and Political Parties Financing as well as the US Federal Election Commission.
A number of recommendations were agreed to strengthen the Tunisian Court of Accounts’ controlling mechanisms such as:
International standards and good practices should be considered when drafting the next elections’ legal framework;
A strong and efficient regulatory system must be accompanied by applicable, proportional and dissuasive sanctions;
Public funding should be maintained in order to guarantee of fairness and political pluralism for new political parties.
With IFES’s technical support, the Tunisian Court of Account will draft an electoral campaign account template and a guide for political parties and electoral candidates.
IFES said it will also provide its expertise by training newly recruited judges on issues related to political finance and controlling mechanisms.
The Arab Partnership Programme is the UK’s strategic response to the political changes in the MENA region. It aims to support the democratic transition through political reforms and economic recovery.
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