On May 6, Tunisia held its first municipal elections since the 2011 revolution, and the first free and fair local elections in the country’s history, widely hoped to usher in more legitimate and transparent local authorities with greater control over regional development. Yet these potentially pivotal elections saw low turnout amid ongoing national dissatisfaction with traditional political parties, the government’s economic austerity policies, stalled anti-corruption and decentralization efforts, and partisan infighting. Have the elections positioned Tunisia to make progress on such issues, and what do they indicate about voters’ attitudes toward current policies?

Four experts examine what implications the elections may have for political parties, security forces, decentralization, and Tunisia’s democratic transition.