Tunisia civil society groups raise questions over referendum data | News


Tunis, Tunisia – Greater than every week after Tunisians backed a brand new structure proposed by President Kais Saied, civil society teams are demanding the election authority publish the uncooked vote information to see if the method was legitimate – and a few are even asking for a recount.

In response to the Tunisian Unbiased Excessive Authority for Elections (ISIE), some 2.93 million voters, of the 9.2 million registered, took half within the July 25 vote, with 92 % of these collaborating voting “Sure”.

The low turnout of 31 % got here amid a boycott marketing campaign from the opposition, which says the brand new structure could lead on Tunisia again to one-man rule, an allegation Saied denies.

There was no minimal stage of participation set for the referendum, so the structure, which is able to change Tunisia from its present hybrid parliamentary democracy to 1 the place the president has sweeping powers, can be adopted.

Whereas civil society observers don’t dispute the successful “Sure” vote, nor do they accuse the ISIE of fraud, they’ve expressed issues about vote information administration. They need polling station information to be revealed in an simply accessible format and level out critical errors in some governorate outcomes revealed on the day after the referendum, which have been rectified by the ISIE on August 2.

In the meantime, “No” marketing campaign leaders and the political occasion Afek Tounes are demanding the entire end result be cancelled, claiming the referendum course of was unconstitutional and that the “No” marketing campaign was blocked from holding marketing campaign occasions.

Anti-corruption organisation I Watch accused ISIE’s workers of “being incompetent and missing integrity”.

Slim Bouzid, of the impartial vote statement affiliation Mourakiboun, stated I Watch had requested for a recount, however his organisation had requested “the detailed information in spreadsheet, in order that we are able to confirm whether or not these have been, actually, errors or one thing else,” stated Bouzid, shying away from defining what he was hinting at, when pressed by Al Jazeera.

However ISIE President Farouk Bouasker has hit again at those that, he stated, have been accusing the authority of fraud and of falsifying the election outcomes, pledging authorized motion towards them.

Bouasker additionally instructed a information convention on Tuesday that the three authorized instances filed towards ISIE didn’t concern the outcomes. “This reveals the referendum outcomes are sound,” he stated in Tunis.

The complaints towards ISIE can be heard on Friday.

Because the writing of Tunisia’s structure in 2014, the impartial election authority has efficiently organised three normal elections and acquired reward from observers for working free and honest polls in a reliable method.

However in Might, Saied changed the ISIE’s government committee, giving the newly reformed physique simply two months to organise the referendum, together with recruiting and coaching 80,000 new polling station employees.

“We don’t imagine that ISIE is a genuinely impartial authority any extra,” I Watch government bureau member, Mouhoub Garoui, instructed Al Jazeera.

Bouzid stated the entire referendum course of was problematic, together with the dealing with of non-public information with out consent.

Earlier than the vote, ISIE hailed the registration of some 2.26 million new voters, however Bouzid stated “the voluntary recruiting of latest voters failed because of lack of apparatus and poor technique, so [ISIE] switched to computerized registration”.

In response to Bouzid, “the perfect variety of voters per polling station” to make sure an error-free rely is 600. However earlier than the referendum, the variety of polling stations was lower from 14,700 to 11,762, which led to a most of 1,000 voters registered for every centre, which Bouzid stated may have led to vote-counting errors.

In the meantime, political scientist Monica Marks, assistant professor of Arabic Cross Roads Research at New York College Abu Dhabi, who has been interviewing all events concerned within the referendum course of, additionally identified that the ISIE had not launched the vote information in a file format that observers may access and analyse.

“We do not need any impartial, totally clear proof to confirm ISIE’s figures,” Marks stated.

When contacted by Al Jazeera, ISIE maintained that no errors have been made within the counting of the ballots.

The referendum additionally passed off with fewer observers than in earlier electoral processes. Bouzid stated that previously, ISIE would authorise some 15,000 impartial observers – however this time there have been simply “6,000 observer accreditations, of which half have been accredited to Mourakiboun”.

Mrabti Stated, an observer from the Chahed Observatory for Election Monitoring, instructed Al Jazeera that he and his colleagues had been refused entry to polling stations as a result of that they had not been issued the right accreditation. “ISIE didn’t purchase sufficient playing cards to print all of the passes requested by impartial and worldwide observers,” he stated.

Stated, who had noticed each election because the 2011 revolution with the Chahed organisation, stated he was shocked by incidents of police heavy-handedness. “Police brokers attacked certainly one of our observers … [in the] suburb of Djebel Jelloud. [They] arrested and took him to the police station there.”

Marks added: “We do not need and we by no means can have a full record of violations on this referendum, as a result of observers have been solely current in a small fraction of areas and since ISIE employees have been so haphazardly recruited and educated.”

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