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Tunisia: Administrative Court rejects 2 appeals against Constitution referendum results

TUNIS, TUNISIA - JULY 26: Farouk Bouasker, president of the Independent High Authority for Elections, holds a press conference to announce the unofficial results of the 25 July referendum on the new constitution in Tunis, Tunisia on July 26, 2022. ( Yassine Gaidi - Anadolu Agency )

The Administrative Court in Tunisia announced the issuance of two first instance judgements about the appeals against the results of the 25 July referendum. The judgements ruled on rejecting the appeal submitted by the I Watch organisation and accepting the appeal submitted by the Echaâb Yourid party in form and rejecting it in merit.

This came in a statement on Friday by the court published on its Facebook page.

The statement announced: "The Administrative Court announces that a judicial circuit, assigned to consider the appeals of the preliminary results of the 25 July referendum, issued its judgements regarding the two appeals submitted by the I Watch organisation and the Echaâb Yourid party."

"Regarding the appeal submitted by I Watch, the court issued a first instance judgement of rejecting the appeal, and accepting the appeal submitted by the Echaâb Yourid party in form and reject it in merit," the statement added without further details.

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The statement continued: "According to the provisions of Chapter 145 of the Electoral Law, the Administrative Court will inform the two judgements within three days of the date of their declaration."

The statement pointed out that the concerned parties can challenge the aforementioned judgements before the judicial plenary session of the Administrative Court.

On 29 July, the Afek Tounes Party and the I Watch organisation announced their intention to submit appeals against the referendum on the new draft Constitution.

The Tunisian Administrative Court's statement did not refer to any decision regarding the existence of an appeal submitted by the Afek Tounes party, which confirmed in a statement on Friday its insistence on the right to submit appeals against the results of the referendum.

On 26 July, the Independent High Authority for Elections (ISIE) announced the approval of the new draft Constitution after it gained the confidence of 94.60 per cent of voters in the referendum.

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Several Tunisian political forces rejected the results of the referendum on the new Constitution, such as the National Salvation Front, the Ennahda Movement and the National Campaign to Overthrow the Referendum (a coalition of five left-wing parties), because 75 per cent of the Tunisian people did not participate in the referendum.

On 28 July, President of ISIE Farouk Bouaskar shared that 2,630,094 voters voted on the draft Constitution out of 9,278,541 voters (30.5 per cent of the registered).

The referendum is considered a part of a series of exceptional measures that President Kais Saied imposed on 25 July, 2021, including dismissing the government and appointing a new one, dissolving the Supreme Judicial Council and Parliament, issuing legislation by presidential decrees and setting an early date for the parliamentary elections to be on 17 December.

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