After a meeting with Prime Minister Habib Essid at the Kasbah on Friday, May 13, Chafik Sarsar president of the Independent High Authority for Elections (ISIE-l’Instance supérieure indépendante pour les élections) announced March 26, 2017 had been chosen a preliminary date for municipal elections.
Chafik Sarsar added that a meeting will soon be held with political parties and figures to discuss new developments relating to a proposed roadmap towards the holding of the elections.
Although the date for the holding municipal elections has been pushed back several times, throughout the repeated scheduling adjustments Sarsar has repeatedly insisted on the need for a six month window between approval of a law regulating the elections by the Assembly of the Representatives of the People (ARP) and the actual holding of a vote.
The six month window is needed, according to statements Sarsar made at a press conference on the ‘roadmap for the regional and municipal elections‘ in October of 2015, to establish “the issues of electoral boundaries and the adoption of the law on municipal elections are the two pre-conditions for the organization of municipal elections within the deadline set by the election commission.”
The organic law on elections and referendums which will govern the municipal elections is scheduled to be submitted to consideration by ARP at a plenary session scheduled for May 31.
Five years after the 2011 Tunisian Revolution, local governments continue to be run be Special Delegations appointed by the Ministry of Local Affairs, which itself had been a State Secretary position within the Ministry of the Interior until Prime Minister Essid both abolished the cabinet level status of the State Secretary posts and promoted Local Affairs to a Ministerial position in a government reshuffle in January of this year.