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Tunisians Head to Polls to Vote for New Parliament

Tunisians Head to Polls to Vote for New Parliament

Sunday, 6 October, 2019 - 10:30
Policeman secures ballot boxes for parliamentary elections in Tunisia on Sunday, October 6, 2019. (Reuters)

Tunisians began voting on Sunday to elect 217 new members of parliament out of more than 15,000 candidates.


The elections are taking place in light of accusations exchanged among three strong political parties of obtaining foreign support, namely the Heart of Tunisia, Ennahda and Aich Tounsi Coalition.


Also, the candidate for the presidential elections in its second round, Nabil Karoui, is in prison, which affected the normal functioning of the entire electoral process.


Up to 1,507 electoral lists are running in all 33 districts, of which 27 are in the country and six are abroad.


The winning party will have the final say in forming the new government and formulating the country's policies for five years because the political system in Tunisia is a modified parliament.


The constitution assigned most of its powers to the parliament and its government, not to the president, as the former dean of the Faculty of Law of the Tunisian University explained.


Tunisians abroad have started voting since Friday.


Of the 1,507 confirmed lists, 687 are party lists, 722 are independent and 163 are coalition, which, according to observers, adds a lot of uncertainty to the upcoming parliamentary scene.


Independents have overthrew the major political parties, mainly Ennahda and Nidaa Tounes, and won the municipal elections in May 2018. Today, they seek success again in their race to parliament.


Observers say the results of the first round of the presidential elections have revealed a decline in the role of major parties in affecting ballot results.


They highlighted the growing role of social media, which has become one of the most important factors in mobilizing voters in Tunisia, with more than seven million people using it.


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