Tunisia’s Electoral Commission: Voting Turnout Of Just 27.5% On New Constitution

Tunisia’s electoral commission on Monday announced only 27.5% of 9.3 million registered voters voted on Monday for a controversial referendum on a new constitution put forward by President Kais Saied, reported The Africa News.

“Without taking into account the polling stations that are still receiving voters, as I said, the number is 2,458,985 who voted out of a total of 8,929,665 registered voters in the country who voted and who were registered spontaneously or automatically”, said Farouk Bouasker, President of Tunisia’s electoral authority.

The exit poll conducted by Sigma Conseil polling group said 92.3% of the eligible voters who took part in the voting supported Saied’s new constitution. There was no minimum level of participation.

Bouasker added that the voting turnout was 27.54% of the public registered to vote, including those registered by choice, of which there are about 7 million.

After casting his vote on Monday, Saied hailed the referendum as the foundation of a new republic.

The voting results are expected to be announced on Tuesday.

The new constitution, which replaces one drafted in 2014, would give the head of state full executive control, supreme command of the army and the ability to appoint a government without parliamentary approval.

The vote on the new constitution came a year after President Kais Saied’s dramatic power grab against parliament. Last July, he ousted Tunisia’s parliament and moved to rule by decree, saying that his actions were necessary to save the country from years of paralysis. He rewrote the constitution last month.

Most of Saied’s opponents had called for a boycott of Monday’s vote. Almost all opposition parties boycotted the referendum, saying it dismantles the democracy Tunisia introduced after its 2011 revolution and could start a slide back toward autocracy.

Tunisia, meanwhile, faces a looming economic crisis and is seeking an International Monetary Fund (IMF) rescue package to address all the issues.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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