Tunisians vote to elect new parliament in opposition-boycotted election

Tunis, Dec 17 (EFE).- Tunisians voted Saturday in an opposition-boycotted election to elect a new parliament after President Kais Saied decreed new legislation giving him broad electoral powers.

Said suspended parliament a year and a half ago, dissolved it in March, and called new elections.

More than 9 million Tunisians are eligible to vote under a new electoral law restricting election campaigning and empowering the president to terminate candidacies.

Some 1,055 candidates (only 11 percent of them are women) are in the fray for 161 seats in parliament.

Seven seats have no candidates, while ten have only one candidate who will win unopposed.

The candidates will have to win more than 50 percent of votes or face a second round between the two top contenders.

A delegation from the Russian Civil Chamber is observing the electoral process.

The European Parliament has declined to send observers, and the local Mourakiboun association will be one of the few organizations to monitor.

The elections complete the road map of the Tunisian president, which began on July 25, 2021, by suspending the parliament (finally dissolved in March) and assuming full powers in what his opponents describe as a “coup.”

On July 25, the president announced a referendum on a new constitution that curtailed the role of parliament and established an “ultra-presidential” form of government.

Fewer than 30 percent of the population voted in the referendum.

Tunisia commemorates the anniversary of the immolation of a young street vendor, Mohammed Bouazizi, in 2010.

The event is considered the beginning of the revolution that overthrew dictator Zine el Abidine Ben Ali and made Tunisia the cradle of the so-called “Arab Spring.”


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