Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is often regarded as an area that was mostly dominated by authoritarian regimes. These regimes form authoritarian constraints – especially during elections – hindering political development. This usually leads genuine opposition parties and movements to form alliances, in order to make demands for reforms by these authoritarian regimes. This notion is reinforced by the fact that, in the most recent set of elections held in the region prior to revolutions that took place in countries like Tunisia, Egypt & Libya, political parties perceived to be anti-democratic or state run have achieved important electoral victories. This article conducts an analysis of these pre-revolutionary elections in various MENA countries, namely Tunisia, Egypt & Libya, in an attempt to discern whether or not, results of these elections contributed to the revolutions that precipitated the abrupt end of decades of political dictatorships that governed the vast majority of countries in the Mena region.