Campaign posters and banners for next week’s presidential elections have covered the walls of Tunisia’s cities and towns, papering over the flaking posters from the parliamentary elections just three weeks ago. The presidential campaign, featuring 25 competitors, kicked off in early November and it’s the first time since Tunisians overthrew dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011 that they will choose their head of state through universal suffrage. If no candidate wins a majority Nov. 23, there will be a runoff between the top two vote-getters on Dec. 28. Alone among the countries that experienced the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011, Tunisia’s transition has remained on track. The favorite to win is Beji Caid Essebsi, an 87-year-old veteran politician who served under Ben Ali and his predecessor Habib Bourguiba, and whose party won the most seats in parliament — 39 percent — in the October elections.Full Article: Tunisia Readies for Presidential Elections - ABC News.
Articles about voting issues in the Tunisian Republic.
In a life spanning colonial rule, war, autocracy and revolution, Tunis resident Halima never saw a reason to vote. A chance meeting in a souk earlier this month gave her one. She was introduced to Kalthoum Kannou, who has three children, a long marriage to a doctor, a 25-year career as a judge and an ambition to be the first female president of Tunisia. “I’ll go to the polling station early in the morning,” said Halima, 91, who gave only her first name, wrapped in a cloak and headscarf to ward off the chill in the open-air market. “This woman who was able to succeed at home and at work will also be able to help govern Tunisia.”Full Article: Woman Running for President Shows Tunisia’s Arab Spring Progress - Bloomberg.
Like the rest of Egypt, Tahrir Square in Cairo is off-limits nowadays to the protesters who made it famous three years ago. Its Tunisian equivalent is still open for business. In the run-up to the North African country’s parliamentary election last week, Habib Bourguiba Avenue in Tunis hosted rallies by major parties. Islamists and leftists were among groups sharing the tree- and café-lined boulevard, marking out their own spaces for rival campaign events. Violent upheaval and even civil war have followed the uprisings in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria in 2011. Tunisia, where that wave of unrest began, showed that it’s on a different trajectory when Islamists agreed to cede power peacefully after losing the latest vote. The Tunisian exception, analysts say, results from a less meddlesome army, more flexible politicians, and an absence of the external interference that countries deemed more important were subjected to.Full Article: Arab Spring Alive in Tunisia as Power Transfers Peacefully - Businessweek.
Campaigning opened Saturday for a presidential election in Tunisia, the birthplace of the Arab Spring, with secularist Beji Caid Essebsi seen as the front-runner after his party won milestone parliamentary polls. Essebsi, 87, leads a field of 27 candidates in the November 23 vote, after Nidaa Tounes came out on top in last Sunday’s legislative election, beating the previously dominant moderate Islamist movement Ennahda. Tunisians hope both elections will provide much-sought stability nearly four years after the revolution that drove longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali from power in 2011. Presidential candidates include the incumbent, Moncef Marzouki, woman magistrate Kalthoum Kannou and also former Ben Ali ministers. If no candidate secures an absolute majority on November 23, a second round of voting will take place in late December. It will be the first time Tunisians have voted freely for their head of state.Full Article: allAfrica.com: Tunisia: Presidential Campaign Gets Under Way in Tunisia.
A self-styled, secular, modernist party called Nidaa Tounes won against the Islamist Ennahda party in the Tunisian election this week. For many, the subsequent headline – “Secularist party wins Tunisia elections” – will seem more impressive than the fact Tunisia just completed its second genuinely competitive, peaceful elections since 2011. Indeed, in a region wracked by extremism and civil war, the secularists’ victory will strike many as further proof that Tunisia is moving forward and is the sole bright spot in a gloomy region. Some may prematurely celebrate, yet again, the death of political Islam, arguing that Tunisians achieved through the ballot box what Egyptians achieved through a popular coup, rejecting the Brotherhood and its cousin-like movements once and for all. We should exercise caution, however, in labelling Nidaa Tounes’s victory part of a seamless sweep of democratic achievements, or seeing Sunday’s vote as a clear referendum against all varieties of political Islam. Despite feeling kinship with the party because of its secular label, westerners understand surprisingly little about Nidaa Tounes, mainly because they’ve tended to hold the magnifying glass of critical inquiry up to Islamists but not secularists over the past three years. Counter-intuitively, Nidaa Tounes’s internal structure is noticeably more authoritarian than Ennahda, which boasts representative decision-making structures from its grassroots to national leadership.Full Article: The Tunisian election result isn’t simply a victory for secularism over Islamism | Monica Marks | Comment is free | theguardian.com.
Tunisia’s first parliamentary election since the Arab Spring revolution of 2011 was transparent and credible, the head of the EU observer mission said on Tuesday. “The Tunisian people have reinforced their commitment to democracy with credible and transparent elections that gave Tunisians of all political tendencies a free vote,” Annemie Neyts-Uytterbroeck told a news conference. “Polling day passed off in a calm and orderly fashion. Everything was really very normal,” she said. “The campaign generally went smoothly. Freedom of expression and assembly were respected.”Full Article: Tunisia vote 'transparent and credible,' EU observers say - Al Arabiya News.
The secular Nidaa Tounes party won the largest number of seats in Tunisia’s parliamentary elections on Monday, defeating its main rival, the Islamist party Ennahda, which just three years ago swept to power as the North African nation celebrated the fall of its longtime dictator in the Arab Spring revolution. Though just a few official results had been released on Monday night, Ennahda’s leader, Rachid Ghannouchi, called Beji Caid Essebsi, the 87-year-old leader of Nidaa Tounes, on Monday evening to congratulate him. Mr. Ghannouchi then threw a large street party for party workers outside Ennahda’s campaign headquarters, with music and fireworks. Ennahda’s former foreign minister, Rafik Abdessalem, said that by the party’s count, Ennahda had won 69 to 73 seats, while Nidaa Tounes had most likely won 83 seats. “We accept the result,” Mr. Abdessalem said. “There are some irregularities, but we consider we succeeded in this process to hold transparent democratic elections.”Full Article: Islamist Party in Tunisia Concedes to Secularists - NYTimes.com.
Tunisia has voted in historic elections to choose its first parliament since the overthrow of long-time ruler in 2011 that sparked the ‘Arab Spring’ protests. Votes were being counted across the country on Sunday as Tunisians cast their ballots in parliamentray elections, four years after the ouster of autocrat Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Many polling stations reported high turnouts and long lines early in the day, with an estimated 60 percent of the 5.2 million registered voters turning out to vote for the 217-seat parliament. “The spotlight is on us and the success of this [vote] is a guarantee for the future,” Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa said as he cast his ballot. US President, Barack Obama called the election an “important milestone in the country’s historic political transition”. “In casting their ballots today, Tunisians continued to inspire people across their region and around the world,” Obama said.Full Article: Tunisia counts votes after historic poll - Middle East - Al Jazeera English.
Tunisians vote Sunday to elect their first parliament since the country’s 2011 revolution, in a rare glimmer of hope for a region torn apart by post-Arab Spring violence and repression. After three weeks of largely low-key campaigning, more than five million voters are to elect 217 deputies in a ballot pitting the Islamist Ennahda movement — the country’s largest party — against a host of secular groups. Tunisia has enjoyed relative stability since the region’s 2011 uprisings in contrast to the lawlessness of Libya and Yemen, the military takeover in Egypt and Syria’s bloody civil war. But the country has flirted with disaster, particularly last year when a rise in militant activity, the assassination of two opposition lawmakers and an economy in the doldrums threatened to drag Tunisia down the same path.Full Article: Tunisia vote offers post-Arab Spring hope - Region - World - Ahram Online.
Twenty-seven candidates including officials who served under former dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali have signed up as candidates for Tunisia’s November 23 presidential election, the organising body said Tuesday. No fewer than 70 people originally filed applications to the Isie, which is organising the first presidential election since the January 2011 revolt forced Ben Ali to flee. “Of the 70, 27 complied with all of the conditions and were accepted, while 41 were rejected,” Isie chairman Chafik Sarsar told a news conference, adding that two other candidates withdrew.Full Article: .:Middle East Online:::..
As Tunisia prepares for the October 26th legislative elections, the small number of women at the head of the electoral lists is drawing criticism. According to thinker and human rights activist Amel Grami, “the left meets the right” when it comes to the role of women in politics. “Here, ideological affiliations become absent,” she said. “Gender takes prevalence over other criteria such as competence, energy, and integrity.” During the ratification of the new Tunisian constitution in February, Ennahda rejected voting in favour of what is known as “horizontal sharing”, that is, the number of male heads of electoral lists should be equal to the number of female heads. Meanwhile, liberal and leftist parties are waging a battle for women’s right to equality with men in decision making positions. However, it appears that the progressive parties have rejected women from the first election event.Full Article: Tunisian electoral lists draw criticism | Magharebia.
Rania Jasmine has no plans to vote in Tunisia’s upcoming parliamentary and first-ever presidential elections. “I don’t want to vote because I don’t trust any political party,” the 24-year-old university student, studying English literature and linguistics, told Al Jazeera. While she voted for the moderate Islamist party Ennahda in the previous elections, she said she was disappointed by the party’s performance. “[Ennahda] really disappointed me before as they were not the ones who were actually running the country,” Jasmine said. “They were [too] afraid of the opposition. So I prefer not to regret my choice again like the first time I voted.” After Tunisians toppled the 23-year presidency of strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the country held its first democratic elections in October 2011 to form the Constituent Assembly, a temporary government put in place to run the country until this year’s elections.Full Article: Tunisia voters shun upcoming elections - Yahoo News UK.
Hackers have briefly disrupted online voter registration for elections in Tunisia later this year, the election commission has said. Registration on the internet and by SMS was temporarily suspended following a “pirate attack”, it added. The commission, known as Isie, did not say who was behind the hacking. The elections in October and November will be the second in Tunisia since long-serving ruler Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was ousted in 2011.Full Article: BBC News - Tunisia's voter registration disrupted by hackers.
Daily reports by the independent election observation NGO, Mourakiboun, have highlighted a number of problems with the voter registration process, including registration centers opening late, a lack of signage, and problems with the registration forms for voters based abroad. Mourakiboun is also concerned about the low turnout for voter registration so far. The report from June 24 complained of a “lack of signage and instructions at some registration centers,” as well as “weak turnout” and “frequent problems with connectivity in many centers.” “There is an absence of facilities at registration centers for the needs of the elderly,” reads the June 25 report, which, like reports from both the previous days, also stated that many centers were still opening late.Full Article: Initial Difficulties in Voter Registration Process | Tunisia Live.
Tunisia’s assembly on Wednesday set parliamentary and presidential elections for October and November of this year to complete the transition to democracy after its 2011 revolution. The assembly decided that the vote for the new parliament will be on Oct. 26 and the vote for a new president on Nov. 23. If no candidate for president wins a majority, there will be a runoff on Dec. 28. It means the newly chosen electoral commission has just four months to organize the parliamentary elections and update the electoral rolls to register the 3 million eligible voters that didn’t participate in the October 2011 elections for the interim assembly. Tunisia kicked off the region-wide pro-democracy uprisings known as the Arab Spring by overthrowing its dictator in January 2011.Full Article: Tunisia election date spells end for transition - Omaha.com: World.
Parliamentary elections on Oct. 26 and a presidential poll a month later, another step towards full democracy in the country that toppled its autocratic ruler in 2011. Lawmakers approved for the first round of a presidential election to be held on Nov. 23 and a second round at the end of December.Full Article: Tunisia Announces Parliamentary, Presidential Election Dates.
Tunisia began voter registration on Monday for heavily-delayed legislative and presidential elections due to take place later this year. The elections would consolidate the gains of an accord in January to end months of political crisis, which had blocked the democratic transition in the birthplace of the Arab Spring. Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa and Chafik Sarsar, who heads the electoral organising commission, gave the order to begin the registration process at Tunis city hall, the government said. After months of negotiations, the electoral commission this month proposed that legislative polls take place on October 26 and the first round of the presidential poll on November 23, with the run-off on December 28. The provisional election dates are to be submitted to parliament on Wednesday for approval.Full Article: Tunisia begins voter registration for fresh elections - Region - World - Ahram Online.
Tunisia’s electoral commission on Monday proposed holding long-planned parliamentary elections in October and a presidential poll in November after the political parties agreed a deal following months of negotiations. “The draft timetable that we have presented (proposes) legislative elections on 26 October, the first round of the presidential election on 23 November, and the second round on 28 December,” the commission’s chairman, Chafik Sarsar, told journalists. He was speaking after meeting National Assembly speaker Mustapha Ben Jaafar.Full Article: Tunisia election dates proposed | Middle East Eye.
Tunisia’s election authority has proposed a parliamentary vote on Oct. 26 and the first round of presidential polls a month later, marking the final step towards full democracy in the cradle of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings. Tunisia’s often turbulent political transition began after the popular revolt that ousted autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali and inspired revolutions across the region. The North African state has been run of late by aukbig caretaker government that saw through the adoption of a new constitution lauded as a model of democratic evolution in an unstable region.Full Article: Tunisia eyes autumn elections to anchor democracy | Reuters.
Tunisia’s national assembly on Thursday approved a new electoral law, to take one of the last steps in the country’s move to full democracy after the 2011 uprising that inspired the “Arab Spring” revolts. Passing the law allows electoral authorities to set a date for the first election since the North African state adopted a new constitution that has been praised as a model of democratic transition in the Arab world. Members of the 217-seat assembly voted 132 in favor and 11 against the new electoral law. “This is an important step,” said Mehrzia Labidi, vice president of the assembly. With its new constitution and a caretaker administration governing until elections later this year, Tunisia’s relatively smooth progress contrasts with the turmoil in Egypt, Libya and Yemen, which also ousted long-standing leaders three years ago.Full Article: Tunisian Assembly Approves New Electoral Law.