Saudi Press

Saudi Arabia and the world
Friday, Feb 03, 2023

Tunisians Shun Vote for Powerless New Parliament

Tunisians Shun Vote for Powerless New Parliament

Tunisians on Saturday overwhelmingly boycotted an election for a new parliament, and electoral board president Farouk Bouasker said that by close of polls at 6:00 pm (1700 GMT), just 8.8 percent of the nine-million-strong electorate had cast votes.
That would be the lowest participation in any poll since the revolution, AFP reported.

Opposition groups boycotted the election, saying it was part of a "coup" against the only democracy to have emerged from the 2011 uprisings across the region.

Bouasker acknowledged turnout was "modest" but said it could be explained by "the absence of foreign financing, in contrast to previous elections".

"This was the cleanest election, with no vote-buying," he said.

Preliminary results are expected Monday.

The National Salvation Front, the main opposition alliance which includes Ennahdha, described the low turnout as "seismic" and called on the president to bring all political forces together for consultations.

The ballot followed three weeks of barely noticeable campaigning, with few posters in the streets and no serious debate among a public preoccupied with day-to-day economic survival.

It comes almost a year and a half after President Kais Saied deployed military vehicles to suspend parliament, following months of political deadlock and economic crisis exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

His power grab sparked fears for the democracy ushered in after the ouster of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Tunisia expert Youssef Cherif said that even though turnout was just nine percent, the parliament being elected "is supposedly more democratic and representative than all previous parliaments in the country's history".

Saied, a former law professor, used a July referendum to push through a new constitution giving the presidency almost unchecked powers.

On Saturday, he told voters that Tunisia was "breaking with those who destroyed the country".

"Those who are elected today should remember that they are being watched by their voters, and that if they're not up to the job their mandate will be taken away," he said at a polling station in a comfortable district of Tunis.

Saied's moves against an unpopular political system were initially supported by Tunisians tired of the messy and sometimes corrupt democratic system installed after the revolution.

But almost a year and half on, the country's economic woes have gone from bad to worse.

Inflation is around 10 percent, and frequent shortages of milk, sugar and petrol are fueling a growing wave of emigration.

The previous legislature had far-reaching powers in the mixed presidential-parliamentary system enshrined in Tunisia's post-revolution constitution.

But the new chamber "won't be able to appoint a government or censure it, except under draconian conditions that are almost impossible to meet," said political scientist Hamadi Redissi.

Almost all of Tunisia's political parties, including Ennahdha, boycotted the vote.
Newsletter

Related Articles

Saudi Press
Close
0:00
0:00
Charlie Munger, calls for a ban on cryptocurrencies in the US, following China's lead
Shell reports highest profits in 115 years
EU found a way to use frozen Russian funds
First generation unopened iPhone set to fetch more than $50,000 at auction.
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
What is ChatGPT?
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Germany confirms it will provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
Saudi FM discusses Kingdom’s economy, oil, Iran and US ties in Davos
Israelis rally in three cities against Netanyahu legal reforms
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Saudi Arabia plans to use domestic uranium for nuclear fuel
Mohammed Bin Salman chosen most influential Arab leader of 2022
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
United Arab Emirates says it will teach Holocaust in schools
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
International medical experts speak out against COVID-19 restrictions on China
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Saudi Arabia’s female ambassadors: Who are the five women representing the Kingdom?
Almubarak named ‘The Best Central Bank Governor of the Year 2023 for the Middle East’
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Dubai announces $8.7 trillion economic plan to boost trade, investment and global hub status
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
×