Amal Hilali - Tunisia
A `` time bomb '' was thrown by two members of the Tunisian Electoral Commission in the face of the President of the Commission, accusing him of administrative and financial corruption, and opened the door to foreign penetration during the past elections, sparking an internal crisis threatening to weaken a constitutional body that had an important role in the process of democratic transition.
The crisis began with a local press statement made by members of the electoral commission, Adel Al-Princi and Nabil Al-Azizi, during which he accused of corruption, administrative and financial mismanagement and nepotism of NEC President Pfon.
The accusations also amounted to treason and intelligence with foreigners, where both members expressed fears of foreign breaches of the personal database of Tunisian voters and the political arena, through an American company contracted by the Commission, for the purpose of technical assistance and training during the presidential and legislative elections.
Prinsi and Azizi did not hide their fear of what they called the suspicious role played by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, supported by, according to them, from the President of the Commission, despite the refusal of the Electoral Commission in 2011 and 2014 to deal with it.
The Washington-based organization is known as an independent non-governmental organization that, since 1987, has been working in more than 145 countries to provide logistical and technical support to electoral bodies and their staff to consolidate and develop electoral democracy.
The chapters of the battle between the president and the two members did not stop the accusations of accusations through the local media, but exceeded the papers of the judiciary, where Nabil Bfoun chose to file a complaint against Prince and Azizi against the backdrop of accusations against him.
On January 31, 2019, parliament voted to elect Pfon as the new head of the Electoral Commission, replacing Mohamed Tlili al-Mansri, who resigned in July 2018, following disagreements between him and the commission.
|Al-Baransi called for a comprehensive reform of the electoral commission (Al Jazeera Net)|
Interpretation of statements
He was surprised Albrinsi - in a statement to the island Net - what he called the amplification and interpretation of his comments from the shareholders "hunters in murky water" in order to disturb the atmosphere at the heart of the election commission.
He stressed that what he said related to legitimate questions about his absence and the other members of the Board of the evaluation meeting attended by the President of the Commission and funded by a foreign American organization, provided throughout the election period logistical and technical assistance, stressing that he was not charged with any penetration or intelligence.
He pointed out that his call was for the need for reform at the level of administrative and financial management at the core of the Commission in general, and did not target the person of the President of the Commission, which went to national organizations, he said.
Al-Brinsi considered that among the blunders of the Commission's administrative and financial misconduct of the Executive Director, preventing members from accessing administrative and financial data, and deliberately absent them in reports related to the activities of the Commission.
Regarding the departure of the Chairman of the Commission, Al-Baransi asserted his full responsibility in the statements received by his tongue and his statements regarding the work of the Commission, reiterating his surprise at the absence of the Chairman of the Commission from its evaluation meeting, contrary to its previous participation in all members, in the presence of representatives of parties, civil society and the media.
The President of the Electoral Commission attributed the absence of the other members of the evaluation meeting to his attachment as he described purely administrative issues, and pointed out that the Executive Director is the supervisor of the evaluation process, stressing that this process is open to any of the members of the Board wants to attend.
|Bouaskar warned against hitting the entire course of the elections after these accusations (Al Jazeera Net)|
Pfon described the remarks of the two members of the Commission as "irresponsible and very dangerous" denying the total and detailed accusations received by the Prince and Azizi, through local media statements.
The president stressed that these accusations do not affect only the person, but exceed the reputation of the Commission and question the path of electoral and democratic comprehensive and independence of decision and national sovereignty.
In this regard, Farouk Bouaskar, Vice-President of the Commission supported the statement by Pfon, and described in his interview with Al-Jazeera Net prince and Azizi statements as "untrue and irresponsible" in light of his access to all files, and as a legal man and a criminal judge.
In contrast, he considered that the irregularities in the administrative management can occur in any public institution, but with regard to the President of the Electoral Commission can not rise to crimes of financial and administrative corruption and infiltration of foreign organizations.
And surprised Bouaskar go two members of the Commission on these files on suspicions of corruption to the media rather than put within the Council or addressed to the judicial authorities.
He also warned of the repercussions of the interaction of this crisis on the entire electoral track by distorting the chairman of the commission and the defamation of his integrity and nationalism, but he did not rule out the premise of settling personal accounts between Pfon and some members.
Regarding the nature of the current election commission's relationship with the International Organization for Electoral Systems (IFES), he said that the US organization had dealt with the electoral commission since 2011, as well as dealing with Tunisian sovereign institutions, such as the Court of Auditors and the administrative judiciary.
He explained that the dealings of the Electoral Commission in 2019 with the American institution came within the framework of a bilateral agreement concluded between them and the Board of the Commission, and provides for the provision of logistical support in the side of training for the staff of the Commission, and with regard to elections from the media side.
He denied in turn the access to the US database on the personal database of voters and talk about foreign penetration, stressing the existence of internal control units in the body as well as external oversight bodies.
In the midst of this crisis, which threatens to undermine the successes of the Commission in the organization of fair and transparent presidential and legislative elections, according to the testimony of local and international monitoring organizations, its president is preparing to receive the "Shield of Peace and Humanity" award from a US university.