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Protests expected in Tunis


Protests expected in Tunis

Anti-government demonstrations are expected today in the Tunisian capital Tunis.

Opposition parties called for protests against the erosion of democracy,  alleging an  unfair electoral process just before legislative elections on December 17.

The new elections were called for by Tunisian President Kais Saied after he unilaterally dissolved parliament in March. Saied was given the power to do this through a referendum which shifted power from the legislative assembly to the presidency. However, this referendum had only  27% voter turnout leading to calls of an illegitimate power-grab.

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Almost every opposition party is expected to boycott the election, with turnout estimated at under 35%. The lack of parliamentary power will continue to discourage voter turnout in future elections and increase resentment towards President Saied’s regime.

Long-term, established political parties are likely to lose influence in the government as new voting regulations have created an electoral system based on individual candidates. However, Tunisians fear this new system will only prop up oligarchs as candidates are now required to be self-funded and barred from receiving partisan financial support. Along with the worsening economic crisis which has led to a lack of many essential commodities in the country, depressing overall projections for Tunisia.

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