Tunisia’s president urged to resign after just 8.8% turnout

Tunis, Dec 18 (EFE).- Tunisia’s main opposition coalition is demanding the resignation of president Kais Saied after only 8.8% of eligible voters took part in parliamentary elections over the weekend.

The National Salvation Front coalition headed by Nejib Chebbi dubbed Saturday’s poll a “fiasco” and said the president had lost his legitimacy following the low voter turnout.

“What happened today is an earthquake,” Chebbi said. “From this moment we consider Saied an illegitimate president and demand he resign after this fiasco.”

The elections were called by Saied after suspending parliament in July and were part of broader political changes he was implementing since taking office on 25 July 2021.

Saied introduced a new electoral law ahead of the ballot that replaced traditional parties with single-member lists, a move that was boycotted by the majority of opposition parties, as well as a new Constitution that weakened the influence of the parliament.

The opposition Front is made up of the Islamist Ennahda Movement, the leading political force, the liberal Heart of Tunisia party, democrats Al Amal (the Hope Party), the ultranationalist Al Karama Coalition and Tounes Al Irada, founded by former president Moncef Marzouki.

Abir Moussi, leader of the Free Constitutional Party — nostalgics of the pre-Arab spring (2011) regime — declared the presidential position as “vacant” after the dismal voter turnout.

Moussi said his party was willing to resort to legal action if the will of the people was not respected, adding that voters had rejected “the failed and destructive Kais Saied system.”

The elections were held twelve years after a young street vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi, set himself on fire on 17 December 2010 in Sidi Bouzid, which was the catalyst for the Tunisian Revolution and later triggered the Arab Spring challenging the autocratic rule in the region.EFE


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