Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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Incompatibility fears raise calls for election postponement in Tunisia

Wednesday 10/August/2022 - 04:36 PM
The Reference
Sarah Rashad

After passing the constitutional referendum stage that was organized on July 25, Tunisia is awaiting the legislative elections scheduled for next December.

Similar to the referendum, which resulted in more dispersion and strife within the country, observers expect the upcoming elections to be a reflection of the charged political scene.

The scene is expected to result in an inconsistent parliament whose deputies would differ and contradict significantly, according to observers.

Tunisia is currently divided among three directions, supporters of Tunisian President Kais Saied, Ennahda movement and the parties that benefited from the scene during the last ten years, and finally opposition parties.

According to the distance and lack of understanding between the three sides, it is expected that the upcoming parliament will include representatives of the three groups in a way that indicates the parliament's inability to carry out its duties in a climate of stability due to a sharp divergence of views.

According to the preliminary results, the new constitution was approved by an overwhelming majority of 94.6 per cent of those who voted in the referendum last month. However, its opponents said that the participation rate, which was about a quarter of all eligible voters, undermines this figure.

Tunisia has been facing an economic crisis exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, upon which it depends heavily for wheat imports.

The country has also experienced extreme polarization since the current president took over all legislative and executive powers on 25 July last year.

The new constitution grants ultimate powers to the state president, which violates the parliamentary system applicable since the 2014 constitution was adopted.

On the other hand, observers reject the postponement proposal, considering that holding elections and forming parliament is the only option that will move Tunisia to stability.

Tunisian political writer and journalist Nizar Jlidi believes that resorting to postponement is no longer an option.

He added during an interview with The Reference that the Tunisian President is determined on finalizing the road-map until the end.

The Tunisian writer further affirmed that it is highly expected that the upcoming parliament would not be harmonious.

“It must be noted that the political scene in Tunisia is still foggy as the political parties have lost their luster and popular depth after July 25, 2021,” Jlidi said.

“Parties and the Tunisian street are waiting for the new electoral law, which will be based on direct voting for people instead of party lists,” He added.

He also ruled out that Parliament would affect the country’s stability, pointing out that real stability is related to the president and the government that operates according to the new constitution.