TUNISIA ( Associated Press) – Tunisians went to the polls on Saturday to elect a new parliament, amid concerns about a democratic rollback and a life-threatening crisis in the North African country that has been rocked by spring protests. was the origin of ,
Opposition parties, including the Salvation Front coalition that includes the popular Ennahda party, are boycotting the election, saying it is part of President Kais Saied’s strategy to consolidate power. The decision could subject the new chamber to a president whom critics accuse of taking an authoritarian turn.
Polling stations are scheduled to open at 08:00 and close at 18:00.
The last meeting of the Parliament was held in July 2021. Syed suspended and dismissed his government after years of political and economic impasse. He dissolved the chamber in March. Since then, Saied, who was elected in 2019 and continues to enjoy the support of more than half the electorate, has also limited the independence of the judiciary and weakened the chamber’s power.
In a referendum in July, Tunisia approved a constitution that gives the president broad executive powers. Saied, who led the motion and drafted the text, made full use of the mandate in September, when he pushed for changes to the electoral law to reduce the role of political parties.
Critics claim that the electoral reforms particularly affect women. Of the 1,055 candidates for Saturday’s election, only 127 were women.
Considered by many to have been a failure of the country’s democratic revolution, a decade later Tunisia was the only country to emerge from the Arab Spring with a democratic government.
Surk reported from Nice, France.