Radio Netherlands Worldwide


Elections Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia 2011

RadioNetherlands Worldwide and Free University Amsterdam have come together to introduce innovative Election Compass websites for elections in new democracies all over the world. This means that, for the first time, voters in these elections will be able to use these sites compare their political opinions to those of the parties and candidates.

The organisations are currently jointly developing Arabic and English Election Compass sites for upcoming elections in Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia. Over the next months several 2012 Election Compasses will be developed and released for election campaigns other (Northern) African countries. As well as providing voters with access to transparent, high quality information on political competition, the input of site users will also generate fresh insights into the political opinions of Moroccan, Egyptian and Tunisian voters.  

In countries where one can speak of ‘Twitter and Facebook revolutions’, online technologies have clearly contributed to the recent movements towards democracy in the region, and the Election Compass sites are a novel form of online political technology. Many voters, and especially younger voters, have already become accustomed to engaging in politics  via the internet.

Due to the limited dispersion of internet connectivity in the Arabic countries and Africa, the Election Compass will not be solely available as a website, but also as a ‘lite’ version for mobile phones. For those voters who are unable to use either the internet or a mobile phone a special Election Compass will be developed for publishing in newspapers.

Editor in chief Rik Rensen of Radio Netherlands Worldwide explains: “The cooperation fits in perfectly with our activities focused on freedom of speech. Imagine whole generations in countries like Tunisia and Egypt growing up under dictatorial governments. For them freedom of political choice is a new and mostly complicating concept. It is an important task of Radio Netherlands Worldwide to give people, especially in those countries, reliable information on their political situation, in their own language. And by these means help them to make their own decisions.”

 

Kieskompas is developing a Vote Compass in cooperation with two universities for the upcoming Turkish parliamentary elections on the 12th of June.

Dr. André Krouwel (VU University Amsterdam) is developing in cooperation with Prof. Çarkoglu (professor Political Science at the Koç University, Istanbul) an application for Turkey supported by the Sabanci university. Kieskompas will, in cooperation with the scientific team, provide analyses en publications about these elections.

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