Tunisian President Names New Election Commission Members

Tunisian President Names New Election Commission Members (News Central TV)

Tunisian President Kais Saied named new members of the election commission on Monday, led by Farouk Bouasker, cementing his one-man rule and raising questions about voting integrity.

Few month, Saied said that he would change the majority of electoral commission members, seizing control of one of the country’s last independent authorities.

After gaining executive power last summer, Saied had already abolished parliament and taken control of the judiciary, declaring that he could rule by decree, which his critics call a coup.

Saied, who claims his actions were lawful and necessary to preserve Tunisia from a catastrophe, is rewriting Tunisia’s democratic constitution, which was enacted following the 2011 revolution, and plans to put it to a referendum in July.

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Bouasker, the new election commission’s president, previously served as the body’s vice president.

New Tunisian Electoral Chairman Farouk Bouasker

Former commission officials Aroussi Mansri and Sami Ben Slama were also appointed to the new organisation.

In recent months, Sami Ben Slama has stated his support for Saied’s actions. He is a harsh opponent of Saied’s main adversary, the Islamist Ennahda party.

Three judges and an information technology professional make up the new seven-member panel.

After 2011, parliament elected the commission. Even though he won the presidential elections in 2019 under its supervision, Saied has repeatedly stated that the commission is not independent.

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Nabil Baffoun, the leader of the dissolved commission, had enraged Saied by criticizing his plans for a referendum and subsequent parliamentary election, claiming that such votes could only take place within the framework of the present constitution.

In April, President Kais Saied issued an executive order replacing members of the Independent Electoral Commission with seven new officials he chose himself, in his latest attempt to install one-man rule after dissolving parliament last month.

The Commission is one of Tunisia‘s remaining independent bodies, and altering its members by presidential order is almost guaranteed to raise questions about the election’s credibility.

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