Saied’s supporters celebrate new constitution, but turnout is low | Politics News

Opposition largely boycotted the referendum, refusing to legitimise President Saied’s new structure.

Some Tunisians have begun celebrating a win for the “Sure” vote in a constitutional referendum introduced by President Kais Saied, regardless of the election authority saying solely a couple of quarter of registered voters had turned out.

An exit ballot from Sigma Conseil, a Tunisian polling firm, mentioned 92.3 % of voters had backed the brand new structure, which opponents say will entrench one-man rule.

Solely 7.7 % voted “No”.  Out of some 9 million registered voters, simply 1.9 million folks got here out to vote, with the opposition primarily selecting to boycott the vote.

A few hundred folks crowded onto the steps of Tunis Municipal Theatre to sing and chant well-liked slogans whereas vehicles circled Avenue Habib Bourguiba, which noticed the ultimate chapter of the 2011 rebellion that overthrew the authoritarian president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, and commenced the Arab Spring.

Just a few hours later, they have been joined by Saied himself, who gave speeches and answered questions from native and worldwide press.

Saied appeared positive that his structure had been accepted, referring to the referendum day as “an historic second”.

Low assist

Saied’s supporters predict radical change, if not miraculous options, to the financial strife that has fuelled demonstrations and strikes in Tunisia.

Sharan Grewal, assistant professor on the College School of William and Mary in Virginia and a non-resident fellow on the Brookings Establishment, advised Al Jazeera the opposition might make a political revenue from the low voter turnout.

“It relies upon how they body this. It reveals that 72 % don’t assist Saied’s challenge …” Grewal mentioned, including “however that assumes that they have been actively boycotting, not simply not voting.”

Grewal mentioned the best way for opposition actions to persuade widespread Tunisians that almost all of them have been in opposition to the plan “could be to carry an enormous protest” moderately than a sequence of small ones.

The opposition had struggled to unite earlier than the vote, and had held separate anti-referendum protests.

It isn’t but clear how Saied plans to proceed.

No minimal stage of participation was set for the referendum, so the structure, which can change the nation from its present hybrid parliamentary democracy to 1 the place the president has sweeping powers, might be adopted.

Saied, who has been ruling by decree for a 12 months, has already amassed vital energy, eradicating the parliament and sacking dozens of judges.

Mentioned Benarbia, the director of the Center East and North Africa programme on the Worldwide Fee of Jurists, which has been constantly outspoken on Saied’s numerous strikes in opposition to the judiciary over the previous 12 months, advised Al Jazeera that the brand new structure risked severe abuses of energy, and warned that the adjustments basically undermine human rights and the rule of regulation.

“Underneath the proposed structure, each the parliament and judiciary are subordinate to the manager and the president,” Benarbia advised Al Jazeera. “Their powers and competencies to behave as a verify on the manager have been both weakened or eliminated altogether.”

The opposition now worries that violence in opposition to anti-referendum protesters earlier than the vote, and courtroom instances in opposition to opposition figures, resembling Ennahdha chief Rachid Ghannouchi, are an indication of issues to come back.

“All of the checks and balances that have been supplied and the ensures for the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary have been eliminated,” mentioned Benarbia, including: “making the police straight subordinate and accountable to the president … [is] shifting from a framework of the rule of regulation, to a police that’s [only] accountable to the president.”

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