Turnout expected to be low as Tunisians vote on new constitution

by | Jul 25, 2022 | World

Opponents largely expected to boycott a vote they see as increasing the potential for one-man-rule in the country.Tunis, Tunisia – Tunisians have begun voting on whether to accept a new constitution put forward by President Kais Saied. But if the number of voters in overseas voting centres is anything to go by, turnout is expected to be poor.
Polling stations in Tunisia opened at 6am local time (05:00 GMT), exactly a year from Saied’s sacking of the country’s government and his suspension of parliament, before he later decided to rule by decree.
Saied has been criticised by his opponents for what they say has amounted to a coup and an attempt to bring about a return to one-man rule. Saied says his changes have been necessary to rein in a corrupt political elite.
The result of the referendum will determine whether Tunisia changes from a hybrid parliamentary system or a presidential one.
Many opponents of the proposed constitution have said they will boycott the vote rather than give it legitimacy.
They held protests in Tunis on Friday and Saturday, and police cracked down on demonstrators on Friday.
Voting began on Saturday for Tunisians living abroad but according to figures listed by the ISIE, Tunisia’s election commission. Its President Farouk Bouasker said the turnout which ranges from 4.5 to 6.5 percent appears to be quite low.
Bouasker claimed in a news conference on Sunday that 9.5 million people …

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