Tunisia Approves New Constitution In Vote With Low Turnout

Written by on July 27, 2022

Tunisia has approved a new constitution granting unchecked powers to the office of President Kais Saied, the electoral board said, after a poorly attended referendum in which voters overwhelmingly backed the document.

Saied’s rivals accused the electoral board controlled by Saied of “fraud” and said his referendum, held Monday, had failed.

On Tuesday evening, electoral commission head Farouk Bouasker told journalists the body “announces the acceptance of the new draft constitution for the Republic of Tunisia”, based on preliminary results, with 94.6 percent of valid ballots voting “yes”, on 30.5 percent turnout.

Monday’s vote came a year to the day after the president sacked the government and suspended parliament in a dramatic blow to the only democracy to have emerged from the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.

For some Tunisians, his moves sparked fears of a return to autocracy, but they were welcomed by others, fed up with high inflation and unemployment, political corruption and a system they felt had brought few improvements.

Saied, a 64-year-old law professor, dissolved parliament and seized control of the judiciary and the electoral commission on July 25 last year.

His opponents say the moves aimed to install an autocracy more than a decade after the fall of dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, but his supporters say they were necessary after years of corruption and political turmoil.


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