Support for democracy dwindles in Tunisia amid negative perceptions of economic conditions

Support for democracy is continuing a downward trend, and almost half of all citizens are not satisfied with the way democracy is working in Tunisia, new Afrobarometer survey results reveal. The proportion of Tunisians who say the country is “not a democracy” has doubled since 2015.

The survey also reveals that Tunisians hold gloomy views of national economic conditions and remain highly critical in their assessments of government efforts to address the country’s three most important problems. Although a majority of Tunisians support regular, open, and honest elections, they expressed little interest in recent municipal elections, and popular trust in the electoral commission is on the decline.

Tunisia has achieved several democratic milestones in the past few years, earning “free” status from Freedom House and a dramatic improvement in its rank on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index, from 144th in 2010 to 69th in 2018. However, the country’s persistent economic and social challenges and a series of problems at the electoral commission combine to cast a cloud of uncertainty over the democratic process, especially with the approach of legislative and presidential elections scheduled for 2019.