The Return of Dictator Ben Ali – An Effective Special Event


Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was the President of Tunisia from 1987 to 2011. He became president following a bloodless coup that ousted President Habib Bourguiba.

After protests against him in December 2010 – January 2011, Ben Ali was forced to flee Tunisia to Saudi Arabia with his family. After his departure, Tunisians lost interest in politics.

For the 2011 elections, research showed that only about 55% of the potential voters were planning to cast their vote. To get more of them to engage in the election process, Tunisian NGO Engagement Citoyen carried out a special event – they erected a huge poster of Ben Ali in La Goulette, the port of capital city Tuni. As was to be expected, the poster was greeted with shock and anger and was eventually torn down. The crowd was greeted with another message below the Ben Ali poster. The filming of the entire ‘special event’ was used to encourage more people to vote.

The eventual turnout at the 2011 elections was 80%.

A highly imaginative and effective campaign that all of us can learn from.

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This article was written by andy

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