Suddenly 400,000 new voters appear

Doubts are growing about the constitutional referendum in Tunisia that strengthens President Said. Turnout rose from 27% to 30% between midnight Monday and Tuesday, meaning 400,000 new voters suddenly showed up.

Kais Saied –

Tunisian President Kais Saied has escaped punishment. It already has a constitution to suit its needs, with an omnipotent executive and a political system without a real separation of powers. However, in the past few hours, Isie’s performance has weakened (Supreme independent electoral body, ie the constituency) questioned the credibility of The constitutional referendum was held last Monday.

Said now controls Tunisia, but the ISIE questions the credibility of the referendum

Without entering into the reliability of the operationOn Wednesday, the United States expressed concern about the unilateral course taken by the president, which threatens the only one A successful democratic transition has emerged from the Arab Spring. Saeed imposed a kind of state of emergency in the country a year ago.

As the Tunisian NGO Ataide reported, It specialized in electoral processes, as many irregularities were recorded during the consultation, such as attempts to influence voters During the day of reflection or at the polling stations themselves. But the most severe criticism of civil society refers to the shifting results presented by the Independent High Authority for Elections.

Between midnight Monday and Tuesday, participation rateOfficials jumped from 27.5% to 30.5%. In other words, nearly 400,000 new voters appeared at the same time. According to the official results, “Yes” won with 94.6% of the vote. Equally problematic is that the sum of the voters for each option and the sum of the votes It does add up in most areas.

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After complaining on the networks of activists and analysts, Isie pulled from her website Wednesday morning information that reappeared a few hours later and has been corrected. In a general statement, The Electoral Council justified its actions With the error “The updated data mixed with the previous data” appears.

In the face of criticism and doubts about the process, Two Tunisian NGOs, Marsad Chahed and I Watch, demanded a recount of votes in the referendum without the participation of the Independent High Authority for Elections. For its part, the national campaign against the referendum, Which brings together several progressive parties, accused Saeed of “fixing the results.”

“There can always be some discrepancy in the numbers, “Given her size, it’s hard to believe the error is straightforward,” says Monica Marks, an American university professor. Majored in Tunisia at New York University (Abu Dhabi office). From the start, holding the referendum raised the opposition’s concerns. For the first time since the fall Dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011the date of the election did not have observer delegations from the European Union and the Carter Foundation’s An honest happy decision.

“There can always be some inconsistency in the numbers, but given their scale, it’s hard to believe that the error is outright”

In addition, ISIE has introduced new rules in favor of The desired outcome by the executive branch, such as extending the usual working hours of polling stations by five hours, which moved from 6 to 22. Even in the middle of the countryside, The president made several changes to the draft constitutional text. For example, he amended Article 5, referring to the role of Islam, which has received numerous criticisms from the more secular sectors.

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Tunisia flag
Flag of Tunisia –

The creation of an ISIE has been considered One of the greatest achievements of Tunisia’s democratic transition. Between 2011 and 2019, the agency transparently organized six electoral processes. Its results were accepted by all political parties, winners and losers; However, Said decided to lay off the leadership of ISIE in April and renew several its members.

“Isie is no longer independent. How can she be credible Organizing democratic elections if its current president [dell’ISIE] Did she turn on her predecessor? Sayeda Al-Ounisi, a former deputy from the opposition party Al-Nahda attacks the Islamists. Isie’s lead in the referendum raises serious doubts about the cleanliness of the December 17 legislative elections, the final stage of Said’s roadmap for Transformation of the country’s political system.

The new constitution includes mechanisms and controls weak, which could harm the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms,” he said Wednesday Official Spokesperson of the US State Department, who also criticized the constitution-drafting process. Not be “inclusive and transparent”. “the countries Westerners are trying to keep The spokesman added that humanitarian aid to Tunisia, but without this support, means helping to consolidate the happy regime. Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The European Union has been more cautious in its assessment The constitutional process, which sparked intense criticism on social media from opponents of the president. With the delegation’s statement Twenty-seven diplomat in Tunisia limited to “taking note of the results”, and giving general advice on the need for “broad consensus among the various political forces” in political transformations.

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The European Union is more concerned than the United States To the collapse of the Tunisian economy because this will lead to a wave of immigrants to the European coasts. This explains his position Analyst Mohamed Dia Hamami of Syracuse University in New York.

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