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Legislative elections: Chahed Observatory reports several infringements

(TAP) – The Chahed Observatory for Election Monitoring held on Sunday in Tunis a press conference during which it presented its preliminary report of the Election Day and vote counting for the December 17 legislative elections.


The observatory, which deployed over 1.000 coordinators and observers across the different constituencies nationwide, revealed that some polling stations were not fitted to allow people with disabilities to exercise their right to vote, electoral lists were not displayed there and the electoral registers were not updated in several constituencies. This is besides the absence of some members of polling stations during the opening hours and staff entrusted with the organisation of the rows in several stations.


The reported infringements included notably the violation of the election silence (in Gabes and Metlaoui), the storming of a candidate and members of her family into a polling station to influence voters, and the continuation of the election campaign by representatives of candidates near polling stations (in Bizerte and Ben Arous).


The observers further recorded a low turnout in almost all governorates, an attempt of some candidates’ representatives to influence the voters (Sidi Bouzid), giving money to voters (Tozeur and Sidi Bouzid), voters using corporate cars to get to l stations (Souk Lahad and El Fahs).


The observers also noted that president of the Hicher municipality (Enfidha delegation in sousse governorate) attempted to influence the voters by using his own cars to transport them. Likewise for Boumhel El Bassatine mayor (Ben Arous governorate) who transported the voters in his own car.


Some polling stations failed to comply with the impartiality duty and attempted to influence the voters (Souk Essebt in Jendouba), the report said. Some polling stations staff were not familiar with the election operation procedures, it added.


The same source further indicated that some members of the Chahed Observatory were denied presence in polling stations and several regional election authorities refused to provide civil society observers with information on the voter turnout and prevented other observers from attending vote counting operations.


The report concluded that the boycott by several political parties and a large number of citizens of the legislative elections had a negative impact on the very low turnout rate, compared to previous elections.


Likewise, the amendment of electoral law by decree No.55 of 2022 and the adoption of a two-round voting system without ensuring the effective participation of women, youths and people with disabilities in the next parliament, also had an negative impact on candidacies submission, in addition to the cutting of public funding during the election campaign and the tightening of candidacies conditions.


To this end, the Chahed Observatory called on the election authority to open up to the civil society by taking into account its report and taking legal actions against all those involved in violations or election crimes during the election campaign, the election silence period and the Election Day.


Source: TAP News Agency