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Tunisians divided over holding presidential and parliamentary elections on same day

Tunisian parties are said to be divided over a proposal to hold the country's next presidential and parliamentary elections on the same day before the end of the year.

The parties met yesterday to discuss the matter but nothing was agreed.

Tunisia's Ennahda Party has been calling for elections to be held on a single day while the remaining parties oppose the proposal.

The head of Ennahda's political bureau, Amer Al-Areed said that holding both elections on a single day was necessary to save the time and money the country needs.

Meanwhile, Secretary General of the Call for Tunisia party, Taieb Baccouche said his party supports separating the elections, and holding the presidential elections before the parliamentary elections.

The official spokesperson for the opposition Popular Front, Hamma Hammami opposed holding the elections in a single day saying the Front "will not allow it, because it would be a disaster".

Hammami said that only dictatorships hold presidential and parliamentary elections in one day.

Tunisia's High Electoral Commission believes that it would be difficult to separate the elections under the current circumstances and calls for them to be held.

Separating the elections means inviting voters to vote three times, once for legislative and twice for presidential elections.

The Head of the Independent Election Commission Chafiq Sorsar said yesterday that holding both elections before the end of the year is possible.

Tunisia's interim Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa met members of the High Electoral Commission and said the two sides have agreed to logistical cooperation between the Ministries of Defence and Interior and the Commission.

Jomaa said the Commission asked the government to ten billion Tunisian dinars and to cancel the Commission's previous debts.

Sorsar estimated the budget necessary for holding the election to worth 100 million Tunisian dinars.


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