Home Foreign Tunisia’s elections to hold in November, says electoral chief

Tunisia’s elections to hold in November, says electoral chief

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TUNIS – Tunisia’s next presidential and parliamentary elections will likely be held in the second half of November, the election agency’s chief, Chafik Sarsar, said on Saturday.

He said the polls would mark the country’s final step towards full democracy.

Sarsar, who heads the Instance Superieure Independante pour les Elections (ISIE), said he would propose next week that the elections be held on Nov. 16 or Nov. 23.

“There is a strong probability that the elections will be on the third or fourth Sunday of November in the case that the presidential and parliamentary votes are together,” he said.

Tunisian lawmakers are due to meet next week to decide whether or not to hold the two votes on the same day.

“We don’t really have much choice because time is running out,” Sarsar said.

He said a less likely option would be to split the two elections and to hold the first in the last week of October.

“The final date should be finalised in a week or so after the political parties hold their national dialogue over the next week,’’ the electoral chief said.

Tunisia’s often-turbulent political transition began after the 2011 uprising which ousted autocrat Ben Ali and inspired the “Arab Spring’’ revolutions across the region.

Since then, Tunisia has been led by a caretaker government and has adopted a new constitution.

But the transition process has been threatened by a crisis between ruling Islamists and secular opposition parties which has at times turned violent.

Islamist party Ennahda rose to power in the first election after the uprising, held in October 2011.

Tunisia, one of the Arab world’s most secular countries, had struggled with growing divisions over the role of Islam in politics.(NAN)

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