Tunisia will keep the initial date of constituent assembly elections, the cabinet said on Tuesday (May 25th). The announcement came a few days after electoral commission chief Kamel Jendoubi suggested that the vote might be postponed until October due to “the lack of proper conditions”.
The transitional government has been “committed” to free elections on July 24th “since the day it took office”, the cabinet maintained in a communiqué. The same was said by Interim President Foued Mebazaa in March “after consultation and national consensus”, the statement read.
Interim ministers discussed Jendoubi’s proposal in depth and pledged “to provide all material, human, administrative and technical means” to make the election a success on the scheduled date. The cabinet also recommended intensifying “consultations with the various political or civil society stakeholders”.
The decision is important for maintaining the “credibility” of the interim government on both national and international levels, Foreign Minister Mohamed Mouldi Kefi stressed Monday (May 23rd) during his visit to Tokyo. Kefi encouraged the electoral commission to “exert effort to solve the logistical problems before July 24th”.
In his turn, Congress for the Republic (CPR) leader Moncef Marzouki said that the proposal to postpone the Tunisian election was “proof of the government’s failure in realising its main task and meeting its pledges before the Tunisian people”.
The derailment would contradict the interest of the country and delay “a return of legitimacy to the state, which, in turn, would lead to delays in solving the pressing real problems that the country is now facing”, he added.
It “may give a negative indication to the rest of peoples who are pinning great hopes on the success of our experience in Tunisia,” Marzouki argued.
The country needs to “move as soon as possible” to “regain its economic and social balance”, according to Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) Secretary-General Maya Jibri. The proposal to put off the vote “was not based on consultations with political parties or interim government”, Jibri added.
“Postponing the election means that the symbols of corruption in the security apparatus would keep their positions, and that the archive of corruption and documents of conviction will be destroyed slowly,” said journalist Sofiene Chourabi. “It would also mean that Tunisians’ spirit of struggle withered away.”
Full Article: Tunisia to keep election date (Magharebia.com).