Tunisia’s Second Round Of Elections End With A Mere 11.3 Percent Voting Turnout
Tunisia’s second round of parliamentary elections ended on Sunday with provincial figures suggesting a mere 11.3% voter turnout reported The Reuters.
On Sunday, a total of 262 candidates competed for 131 seats from Tunisia’s 161-member legislature, which was largely stripped of its powers after a number of extraordinary measures were taken by President Kais Saied on July 25, 2021.
Saied sacked the government and suspended the parliament, and amended the country’s constitution, abolishing the hybrid parliamentary system that had been in place since 2014 and granting him almost unlimited powers.
The first round of parliamentary elections, which were held in December last year, saw just 11.2 percent of registered voters take part. The new legislature will have almost no power to hold the president to account.
According to Tunisia’s electoral commission, about 887,000 voters cast ballots from a total electorate of 7.8 million. Final results were not expected on Sunday. Notably, almost all the main political parties boycotted the vote and most seats are expected to go to independents.
“Almost 90% of Tunisian voters ignored this piece of theatre and refused to be involved in the process,” Ahmed Nejib Chebbi, head of the country’s main opposition the National Salvation Front, told journalists.
“I call on political groups and civil society to join hands to work for change, in the form of Kais Saied’s departure and early presidential elections.”
Opposition groups and political critics continue to describe Saied’s measures as a coup, saying that he has trashed the democracy built after Tunisia’s 2011 revolution – which triggered the Arab spring.
Saied, on the other hand, claims that his actions were both legal and necessary to save Tunisia from years of corruption and economic decline at the hands of the self-interested political elite. His new constitution was passed in a referendum last year, with only 30% of the Tunisians voting.