samedi 8 octobre 2011

Start of the election campaign

Last Saturday marked the official start of the electoral campaign for candidates of the Constituent Assembly. The next three weeks will be under watch by the ISIE, the watchdog group for fair elections.

Parties are not allowed to use the Tunisian flag in their logos nor are they permitted to do advertisement. The only form of ads they may have are street signs such as in this picture below. Outside financing is forbidden, only local public and private funds are tolerated.

As for the media, they are not authorised to comment on pre-elections polls. There is on average 3 hours of political coverage broadcasted daly by the stations. Each candidate representing a list has about 3 minutes of airtime.

Speaking of candidates, there are a total of 11000 of them in about 1500 lists. You read right, all of them are fighting for one of the 217 seats on the Assembly whose main task will be to write the country’s new Constitution. The seats are spread out in 27 ridings in Tunisia and 6 outside the country for a total of 33.

Confused? You aren’t alone! Many Tunisians are as well as they try to learn about all 111 parties fighting for their vote on October 23rd. Here’s the list.

The BBC has video on the start of the elections campaign.

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