Tunisia’s Electoral Lesson: The Importance of Campaign Strategy

The Carnegie Endowments launched this week Sada, a news and analysis site for Arab politics. I’m proud to be part of their initial publication, with my latest article: Tunisia’s Electoral Lesson: The Importance of Campaign Strategy.

Ennahdha campaign offices like this one could be seen in even the smallest towns in the run up to the elections.

You can read the full article at their website, below is a sneak peak.

Tunisia’s elections last Sunday were won by the Islamist party Ennahda, in a contest with more than 80 political parties. Ennahda has claimed over 40 percent of the seats (90 of 217) for the constituent assembly. The remaining seats are divided among several major secular parties, minor parties that have performed well regionally, and (in a surprising turn of events), the Popular Petition party of wealthy Tunisian businessman Mohamed Hechim Hamdi (with nine percent of the seats). The victory can be attributed as much to its outreach methods as to the popularity of its message. Most political parties, the majority of which were established or legalized after January’s revolution, paid the price of disorganization and poor strategic considerations. In an election meant to level the political landscape, only Ennahda realized that voter outreach (rather than advertising) was the key to victory.

A thank you to all the staff at Sada for helpful comments and editing – and mabrouk (congratulations on the new site).

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