Japan to Dispatch Observer Mission to Tunisia Elections

Friday, October 21, 2011

Tokyo- (PanOrient News) Japan has decided to dispatch an observer mission to Tunisia, from October 22 to 24 to assist with the country’s Constituent Assembly elections scheduled to be on Sunday, October 23.

The 14 member mission will be headed by Mr. Kazuyuki Hamada, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs.

A statement by the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo said the mission is composed of officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and staff members of the Embassy of Japan in Tunisia as well as staff from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and a university professor specializing in Maghreb regional studies that include Tunisia.

The National Constituent Assembly elections in Tunisia will not only be the first election in the country since the political change in January this year, but also the first elections of the on-going historical changes occurring in the Middle Eastern and North African region, the statement said.

From this perspective, the election will play an important role as the first essential step toward the democratization process in Tunisia, and may affect future success of reforms and democratization in the Middle Eastern and North African region as a whole, according to the statement.

Japan has previously dispatched three experts to Tunisia, once in June and again in July this year, "to assist with the democratic implementation of elections in the country within the framework of Japanese electoral cooperation."

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