Association for Free Research and International Cooperation

Presidential election 2019: Tunisians called to ballot for an open poll

Article from AFRIC Editorial
Tunisians are called to the polls this Sunday, September 15, 2019 for the election of a new leader after the death of Beji Caid Essebsi to some months of the end of his term. The seven million voters on the lists will have to decide between 26 candidates for this unpredictable ballot. In 2014, the last election resulted in an ideological war on religious grounds opposing Islamists of the conservative party Ennahdha and a coalition led by Nidaa Tounes and progressive allies.
The candidates of the poll for this Sunday, which one does not know the date fixed for the second round, have understood that the interest of the readers this time, rests on the economic and social questions.

With the death of 92-year-old Beji Caid Essebsi, the young Tunisian democracy has lost one of its founders. Today, despite the departure of the nonagenarian, she wants to keep her democratic regime torn out after a popular revolt. Beji Caid Essebsi although pulled out of the drawers of Tunisian politics played a very important role during the democratic transition period. The man who bowed out the day of the 62nd anniversary celebrations of the Republic wanted the revolution that paved the way for a democratic regime in Tunisia to be a continuation. Belonging to the generation of the founding fathers of Tunisia, Beji Caïd Essebsi brought his experience as the country separated from Zine El Abidine Ali entered a period of uncertainty. The presidency of Essebsi, the wise old man who lasted only five years, gave this North African country a healthy stability.

Despite the death of Essebsi during the exercise of his duties, the country managed with great maturity this sudden vacuum. The organization of the presidential election within the deadlines set by the constitution and the appointment of an acting president in the hours following the announcement of the death of Essebsi has saved the country from periods of tension. Today Tunisia post Essebsi who had already given Africa and the Arab world a beautiful lesson in democracy after the revolution of Jasmine by successfully transitioning where neighbors such as Libya failed is preparing to open a new page of its history.

The most influential candidates

Out of 100 applications, 26 profiles were selected for the vote on Sunday 15 September. Some candidates for the two-month advanced ballot following the former president’s sudden death stand out as favorites. Presented to the general public after televised debates, they are differentiated by their political programs and are for the most part populist movements. Among those who attract attention, the outgoing head of government.

– Youssef Chahed

Named to the post of prime minister in August 2016, Youssef Chahed from the height of its 43 spring seduced with his youth by becoming the youngest head of government in the history of Tunisia. Training engineer, faithful to the late president, he competes under the colors of his own political party, Tahya Tounes (long live Tunisia) after slamming this year the door of the ruling party Nida Tounes. It presents as an asset its balance sheet at the primature and promises a fierce fight against corruption and nepotism.

– Abdelfattah Mourou

Popular in Tunisia, the 71-year-old is the candidate chosen by the conservative Islamist party Ennahdha, the political party with the most representative in parliament. According to many observers he is expected to appear in the second round of this presidential election.

– Nabil Karoui

Incarcerated for a money-laundering case and suspected of tax evasion, this real estate and advertising magnate enjoys a high popularity and especially media exposure as holder of the television channel Nessma. Often compared to former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Nabil Karoui has also made his name known for his many charitable works in favor of the poor. Despite his imprisonment, his candidacy for this election has been validated.

– Abdelkrim Zbidi

The former Defense Minister who ran for the ballot as an independent candidate nevertheless enjoys the support of Nidaa Tounes, the party of the late President Beji Caid Essebsi. Called several times at the bedside of President Essebsi before his death, he seems to embody the continuity of the former leader. Enjoying great political experience, he reached out to Ennahdha, the political party with the most representatives in parliament. The man wants to be the first to gather.

-Abir Moussi

This 45-year-old lawyer who served under the former regime of Zine El Abidine Ali is one of only two women in the running for the poll. She militates for the exclusion of the Islamists in the management of the political affairs of the country. Described as a brave woman who will stop at nothing to defend her beliefs, she argues that the revolution that drove Ben Ali out of power was a “social movement instrumentalized for political ends”. Abir Moussi proposes in his program an extension of the powers of the president who would allow him to appoint a prime minister for the moment appointed by the parliament.

-Mohammed Abbou

Like the outgoing minister Yousef Chahed, Mohamed Abbou is committed to fighting corruption if he is elected president. This lawyer with the court of cassation is presented by the Tunisian media as a serious challenger. Minister of administrative reform in 2012 for a fleeting time, he is best known for being a fierce opponent of ousted President Zine El Abidine Ali.

The ruling party Nidaa Tounes, formed by President Beji Caid Essebsi, is doing the hardest in this period of presidential election, which opens the way for other political formations, including those newly created. Winner of the last presidential election, Nidaa Tounes is only a shadow of himself. The divisions that reign within the party eventually weaken it and cause departures. The publication of polls has been banned by the authorities in charge of the organization of these games, it is difficult to get an idea of the scenario that will offer the outcome of Sunday’s vote.

Article from AFRIC Editorial

Photo Credit : google image/illustration

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