Polls open as Tunisians vote in parliamentary elections

Reuters , Sunday 6 Oct 2019

Tunisian Parliamentary Elections
Tunisians queue in front of a polling station in the capital Tunis on October 6, 2019, during the third round of legislative elections since the North African country's 2011 revolution (Photo: AFP)

Tunisians began voting on Sunday for a parliament that must address chronic economic problems at a moment when political newcomers are mounting a challenge to the established parties.

Voters queued outside polling stations in the capital Tunis, only eight years after a popular uprising that inspired the "Arab Spring". 

But the failure of repeated coalition governments that grouped the old secular elite and the long-banned moderate Islamist Ennahda party to address a weak economy and declining public services has disillusioned many voters.

Sunday's vote for parliament is sandwiched between two rounds of a presidential election in which turnout has been low and which advanced two political newcomers to the runoff at the expense of major-party candidates.

It is not clear what that may mean for Sunday's election, in which Ennahda is one of several parties hoping to emerge with most votes, including the Heart of Tunisia party of media mogul Nabil Karoui.

While the president directly controls foreign and defence policy, the largest party in parliament nominates the prime minister, who forms a government focused on most domestic policy.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online. 

Short link: