Tunisia: Low voter turnout in parliamentary elections until 3:00 PM
The Head of the Independent Supreme Elections Commission in Tunisia, Farouk Bouaskar, reveals low voter turnout in parliamentary elections in Tunisia today.
The voter turnout in the legislative elections taking place in Tunisia on Saturday stood at 7.19% as of 3:00 PM (1400 GMT), the head of the Independent Supreme Elections Commission, Farouk Bouasker said.
In a press conference held by the Commission this Saturday evening at the Palace of Conferences in the capital, Bouasker said that the number of voters who cast their votes in the parliamentary elections reached 656,915 voters until 3:00 pm, three hours before the closing of the polls.
Read: Tunisia union chief: Elections 'have neither taste nor colour'
These elections are considered the last stop in the political project announced by Tunisian President Kais Saied on December 13, 2021, which began with the referendum on a number of reforms, followed by a referendum on the constitution that was approved on August 16, and reached the amendment of the electoral law, which stipulates that people will vote for individuals rather than lists as in previous elections.
Not only a number of political parties are boycotting the elections, but significant numbers of Tunisians refuse to participate in these elections, either because of a political position regarding the path led by President Kais Saied or because they believe that the new parliament will not improve their situation.
كيف كانت أجواء الانتخابات في #تونس اليوم في ظل الظروف المعقّدة التي تعيشها البلاد؟— قناة الميادين (@AlMayadeenNews) December 17, 2022
مراسل #الميادين في تونس عماد شطارة.#تونس_سؤال_المصير pic.twitter.com/etoBoyj9iZ
"Let this day be an election meant to stand in the way of those who plundered the country and set themselves up as its guardians," Tunisian President Kais Saied said earlier today.
In this election, 1055 candidates, only 120 of them women, are competing for 161 seats. Voters will vote for candidates individually instead of lists prepared by parties, and the principle of gender parity, which was approved in 2016 as one of the main demands in 2011, has been abolished.
The Tunisian Observatory for Democratic Transition stated that half of the candidates are either teachers (about 26%) or mid-level civil servants (about 22%).
This parliament will mostly be stripped of powers based on the new constitution that was approved following the referendum last July, commentators say.
The new constitution further expands President Kais Saied’s powers.
The President would be able to serve two five-year terms but could extend them if an imminent threat to the state is perceived, granting the head of state the authority to dissolve parliament. No clause allows for the impeachment of the President
All representatives can submit proposals and draft laws, but the president would have priority.
However, the main concern of the 12 million Tunisians, including nine million registered voters, remains the high cost of living with inflation of about 10% and the continued frequent loss of some foodstuffs, such as milk and sugar.
And the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which was scheduled to give the green light on Monday to grant Tunisia about US$1.9 billion, postponed its decision to early January to permit more time for the authorities to complete program requisites.