Tunisia: 11.4% participation in the legislative elections, the president minimizes

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: 11.4% participation in the legislative elections, the president minimizes” />

A Tunisian voter at a polling station in the western suburbs of the capital, Tunis

Tunisia's electoral authority announced a final turnout of 11.4% in the second round of legislative elections on Sunday, a historically low level that President Kaïs Saïed downplayed in a video released Monday evening .

At nearly 90%, this is the highest abstention since the 2011 revolution, which overthrew dictator Ben Ali and marked the #x27;the advent of democracy in this country.

This rate must be interpreted differently. Ninety percent of voters did not vote because parliament means nothing to them, the president said in this video released late at night from the office of the presidency.

Some polls in the past 12 years have garnered close to 70% turnout, such as the October 2014 legislative elections, although attendance fell in the most recent elections.

In total, 895,002 people voted out of 7.85 million registered voters, announced the president of the electoral authority (ISIE), Farouk Bouasker, or 11.4%, on the basis of final figures, against 11.3% announced Sunday evening, based on provisional data.

Mr. Bouasker gave another rate of 14.6%, which only takes into account voluntary registrations on the electoral lists, i.e. 5.8 million people, the others having been registered automatically when they turned 18.

The ISIE then listed the names of the winners for each of the constituencies, on which it is impossible to draw conclusions, since the candidates – mostly unknown – were prohibited from displaying their political affiliation. .

Experts explained the low turnout not only by the unanimous boycott of the election by the opposition parties but also by a lack of interest in the politics of d' a population focused on deteriorating economic conditions (galloping inflation and recurring shortages of basic commodities).

The legislative elections of December 17 and January 29 are one of the last stones that President Kaïs Saïed wanted to lay in the construction of an ultra-presidentialist system similar to that before the fall of Ben Ali.< /p>

Arguing that the country was ungovernable, he dismissed his Prime Minister and froze Parliament on July 25, 2021 before dissolving it and then reforming the Constitution last summer in a referendum already shunned by voters (30.5% turnout) to abolish the existing hybrid parliamentary system.

The future Parliament, also made up of a National Council of Regions – yet to be appointed – sees its prerogatives considerably reduced.

It will only be able to overthrow the government after two motions of censure adopted by two-thirds from both houses and can never impeach the president.

It will take 10 deputies to propose a project of law. The texts submitted by the president will be voted on in priority.