During the presentation Tunisia – Government Accountability after Revolution, Amira Yahyaoui (Al Bawsala, Tunisia) presented initiatives and activities of Al Bawsala organization, which has launched a lawsuit against General Assembly in Tunisia due to non-implementation of legislation related to free access to information by government institutions. After General Assembly ignored their complaints, Al Bawsala found the source of information that were requested and released them via their website.
Amira spoke about the initiative of monitoring the attendance of the MPs at the General Assembly sessions, presenting statistics on it. Information gathered through monitoring was presented through a ranking list. The list shows which MPs have the highest and lowest attendance rate at the Assembly. In this way the public has access to the work of individual members. This initiative has led to public demands for resignation of those members who attend sessions the least, which ultimately resulted in resignations on MPs part.
She also presented a project of introducing a new constitution to the public. The project presents each article of the new Constitution in Tunisia, so the public has an opportunity to comment and suggest certain amendments. This project, organized through crowdsourcing of ideas, resulted with new amendments that were submitted and largely adopted by the General Assembly.
A project that allows citizens to pose questions to representatives of the General Assembly was also launched. Questions were sent through Al Bawsala website, but since the MPs are not used to the internet communication, the staff at Al Bawsala ask the questions after the regular sessions of the Assembly. All citizens’ questions and representatives’ answers are available online.
In the discussion that followed, Amira, responding to inquiries, said that the work of her organization has strong support among citizens, which represents their greatest satisfaction that motivates them to continue to operate despite numerous facing obstacles and threats.