February 5, 2023

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Uncertainty in Tunisia after failed legislative elections

The fiasco in Tunisia’s legislative elections on Saturday, marked by a voter turnout of more than 90%, is embarrassing for President Kaïs Saïed, whose opposition is calling for his exit and finds himself impeached and very weak in his negotiations with the IMF. Around a critical debt for a struggling economy. “failure”Sunday, December 18 newspaper headline Maghreb.

Ahmed Nejib Seppi, leader of the main opposition coalition, called the president “Resign immediately” After only 8.8% participation rate was reported in the first round of ballots organized to renew the parliament.

According to the Tunisian Electoral Commission, only 8.8% of the electorate, or 803,000 out of 9 million voters, cast their ballots. It was the worst turnout in Tunisia’s election since the 2011 revolution that ousted dictator Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali and ushered in the Arab world’s first democracy.

“A Great People’s Denial”

“It’s a huge popular rejection of the process.”, began on July 25, 2021, when Kaïs Saïed froze parliament, sacked his prime minister and seized all power, Tunisia’s main opposition leader Ahmed Nejib Chebbi said on Sunday. In a telephone interview with Agence France-Presse.

“92% returned to its illegal process that violates the Constitution”Ten years after the 2011 Tunisian revolution, the former majority party in parliament, Mr. Mr. Seppi continued. .

He also invited other political parties “Agreement on Appointment of a Senior Magistrate” can “Supervise the new presidential election”.

According to political scientist Hamadi Redisi, the participation rate in legislative elections is very low “Unexpected, because even the most pessimistic predictions are calculated at 30%” As in the referendum on the Constitution. “This is a personal disclaimer for Mr. Syed, who decided everything alone.”Assuming that, the expert added “Its legitimacy is questionable”. However, according to this expert, “Status blocked”, Because “There is no legal mechanism to impeach the President” 2022 in the new constitution.

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The new parliament – which will only be formed after the second round in early March – does not have this power and can at best censor the government, but only after a long and complicated process.

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The DSF has called for mobilization of various forms of resistance, including demonstrations. But the opposition “weak and divided” The secular and progressive camp on the one hand, and the FSN coalition around Ennahda on the other, Mr. Underlined redisc. There are “It’s unlikely to come together until the what-if question is resolved.”He further said, about this formation, in the beginning Mr. A large proportion of Tunisians who supported the Saïed coup force blamed the economic and social failures of the past decade.

Tunisians are very worried about the economic situation

After his coup and the subsequent dissolution of parliament, there were months of condemnation “A Conspiracy” Backed by the opposition, President Said this summer adopted a constitution in a referendum that drastically curtails parliament’s prerogatives. He reformed the voting system used on Saturday for the assembly elections, barring any political affiliation for candidates, most of whom are unknown, which has helped experts lower turnout.

Most Tunisian parties boycotted Saturday’s election, including Abir Moussi’s Free Texturian Party (anti-Islamist opposition).

For several months, the economic crisis has been the main concern of the population, which is very concerned about the continuous deterioration of its living conditions: inflation – almost 10% -, very high unemployment, continuous shortages of milk, sugar, rice and a poverty rate that affects four million out of twelve million Tunisians.

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DSF is not wrong in qualifying as “refusal” – This time international – the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has postponed to the beginning of January the start of the final agreement on a new loan of 2 billion dollars requested by Tunisia and it should be granted this Monday, December 19.

The preliminary results of this first phase of assembly elections will be declared on Monday.

Le Monde with AFP and Reuters