Landmark Tunisian election campaign kicks off

2011-10-01 20:30
Tunis - The campaign for Tunisia's landmark elections for a constitutional assembly began on Saturday, featuring 81 political parties competing in this former dictatorship.

Tunisia overthrew its long ruling leader president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali in January after a month-long popular uprising that inspired similar movements across the region and has remade the face of the Arab world.

The past nine months have seen further demonstrations, local unrest and rise in crime across this North African nation of 10 million, but many hope the elections will bring stability.

Tunisia's experiment with democracy after a half century of an autocratic state is being closely watched around the world for its impact on the rest of the region.

"The elections should take place under favourable conditions, but we are ready for any eventuality," said Kamel Jendoubi, the head of the commission overseeing elections.

Security officials say that all forces will be mobilised to ensure stability during the elections.

There are 60 000 members of security forces, including 10 000 new recruits, and 45 000 soldiers in the army.

Since El Abidine's fall, what was once one of the most repressive countries in the Arab world has seen an explosion of political activity, with the formation of 111 political parties.

Of them, 81 will be competing in the election in 785 lists together with another 676 lists of independent candidates across 33 constituencies for 217 seats.

Those elected will then have a year to write a constitution to dictate how Tunisians will govern themselves before elections for a parliament will be held.

Three weeks before the elections, polls have shown that at least half of the country's seven million voters remain undecided, something candidates will be looking to address with hundreds of meetings around the country to present their programme.
Read more on:    zine el abidine ben ali  |  north africa  |  tunisia elections

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Millions of plastic particles in our food!

Scientists and researchers believe that almost five million tons of plastic is dumped in the oceans every year and it’s affecting our food.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

It may be hard to maintain a steady rhythm as you find yourself juggling a zillion things. Slow down a little and let go of more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.