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Legislative in Tunisia: a resounding fiasco

“The Tunisians did not show up in numbers…”, confessed as soon as the polls closed on Saturday evening, Mathias Ngue, an international observer. A few minutes later, the president of the electoral body, Farouk Bouasker, came to confirm his impressions: only 8.8% of the electorate took part in the legislative ballot on December 17. That is more than 90% abstention. A record.

“Modest but not shameful. »

The latter justifies this figure… by a “total absence of vote buying”judging the rate “modest but not shameful”. This first round of legislative elections was marked by the lowest turnout since the 2011 revolution. An even lower score than during the referendum on the new Constitution last July (30.5%). In 2014, participation in the legislative elections was 67.7%.

The absence of a real electoral campaign, candidates with unknown profiles without partisan affiliations and a boycott of the main opposition parties led to expect a strong abstention. But for the essayist Hatem Nafti, this score is a cruel disavowal of the President of the Republic. “Each time President Saïed asked the Tunisians, they were always in the minority to support himhe analyzes. It presented itself as a bulwark against the old elites, but that no longer convinces. »

The election of the 161 deputies of the Assembly of People’s Representatives (ARP), whose powers are considerably weakened by the new Constitution, was to be the last step in a long political process undertaken by President Kais Saied since his coup on July 25, 2021, in order to reform the political system after years of deadlock.

Lack of alternative

This ballot “shows that very, very few Tunisians support the approach of Kaïs Saïed”Ahmed Nejib Chebbi, president of the National Salvation Front, the main opposition coalition, told AFP, calling on the president to resign after this fiasco. “There is no alternative that stands out”deplores Hatem Nafti, however, judging the opposition very divided and reluctant to work together, and noting the absence of strong personalities who could overshadow Kaïs Saïed.

Provisional results are expected no later than Tuesday, December 20, for final publication no later than January 19. The second round scheduled for the constituencies in tie will not take place before the month of February.


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