Tunisians begin to vote in referendum on new constitution | News

Turnout is predicted to be low, as opponents boycott a vote they see as giving the president dictatorial powers.

Tunisians have begun voting on whether or not to simply accept a brand new structure put ahead by President Kais Saied; however, if the variety of voters in abroad voting facilities is something to go by, turnout is predicted to be poor.

Polling stations in Tunisia opened at 6 a.m. native time (0500 GMT), precisely a yr on from Saied’s sacking of the the nation’s authorities, and his suspension of parliament, earlier than he later determined to rule by decree.

Saied has been criticised by his opponents for what they are saying has amounted to a coup, and an try to carry a couple of return to 1 man rule. Saied says his modifications have been essential to cease a corrupt political elite.

The results of the referendum will decide whether or not Tunisia modifications from a hybrid parliamentary system to a presidential one.

Many opponents of the proposed structure have mentioned they are going to boycott the vote fairly than give it legitimacy.

They held protests in Tunis on Friday and Saturday, with the Friday protest specifically met by police violence.

Voting started on Saturday for Tunisians residing overseas, however in response to figures listed by the president of Tunisia’s election fee, the ISIE, Farouk Bouasker, turnout seems to be fairly low, between 4.5 and 6.5 %.

Bouasker claimed in a press convention on Sunday that 9.5 million folks have been registered to participate within the referendum, which, if true, is considerably greater than the 2019 legislative elections, the place some 7 million out of a complete inhabitants of 12 million folks registered to vote.

Polls carried out earlier this yr present lack of enthusiasm for the referendum, predicting a voter turnout of between 10 to fifteen %.

Bouasker additionally claimed that there had been cases of voters turning up on the mistaken polling stations and inflicting issues, and said that one lady had been arrested by the German police when she harassed election volunteers at a polling station, alluding that there could also be a doable intent to disrupt the referendum course of.

Regardless of these disturbances, the spokesperson of Nouvelle Perspective, a global election observer organisation, Herve Fonghouo, informed Al Jazeera “there are all the time human errors and errors throughout votes, nevertheless, through the years, with observe, Tunisia has improved its working of votes an amazing deal”.

In Tunisia, July 25 is well known as a public vacation marking Tunisian Republic day, commemorating an earlier plebiscite the place Tunisians voted to abolish the nation’ monarchy and located the primary republic in 1957.

Saied says his proposed new structure is the foundational doc for the Tunisian Third Republic.

Though many consider that the draft structure might be adopted whatever the outcomes, the ISIE are actively urging these registered to exit to solid their votes.

The brand new structure permits Saied to proceed to rule by decree till legislative elections are held in December.

The earlier structure, adopted in 2014, gave incontestable rights and liberties to residents and particularly to minorities.

It separated the powers of the president, authorities and parliament, with establishments to look at over with checks and balances.

The judiciary was an unbiased energy.

The brand new structure places govt, legislative and judicial powers within the arms of the president.

Individuals are capable of vote till 10 p.m. Tunis time (2100 GMT) with vote counting working by way of the night time, and outcomes anticipated to be introduced early morning on Tuesday.

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