Tunisia's Independent High Authority for Elections (ISIE) announced the acceptance of 1,058 candidacy applications for the legislative elections scheduled to be held on 17 December.
"We accepted 1,058 candidacy applications for the legislative elections out of 1,427," shared Head of ISIE Farouk Bouasker in a press conference on Thursday.
He added: "363 candidacy applications were rejected for failing to meet the legal requirements, such as the number of testimonials and the lack of some legal documents."
Bouasker pointed out: "Those whose applications were rejected have the right to appeal before the Administrative Court."
Bouasker announced that the external electoral constituencies (ten constituencies) received candidacy applications in only three constituencies: France – 2, France – 3 and Italy, while seven other constituencies did not record any applications.
He continued: "Ten electoral constituencies, seven at home and three abroad, received only one application," while eight other constituencies received two.
"The electoral constituencies abroad that did not receive any candidacy applications will hold partial elections after the final announcement of the results," Bouasker clarified.
According to observers, most candidates are independent figures without any political history or affiliation.
The initial indication of these numbers coincides with the statements by observers of Tunisian affairs that the first round of the upcoming legislative elections will witness a reluctance to participate.
They pointed out that the figures announced by Bouasker confirm the observers' points of view since the electoral constituencies abroad, in which thousands of Tunisians participate, did not receive any applications for candidacy, or only one candidate in the best cases.
It is noteworthy that 1,500 electoral lists participated in the 2019 legislative elections. Thus, there was a significant difference in applicants.
Last month, the Tunisian "25 July Movement", which supports President Kais Saied, demanded that the legislative elections be postponed until: "The polluted political atmosphere had been purified."
The movement said that its call came due to the aggravated violations in testimonial requests, threatening to withdraw the candidacy applications in the event that its request for postponement was rejected.
Most opposition parties announced their boycott of the elections, accusing Saied of establishing an individual rule in the new system of government approved in the 2022 Constitution.
On 15 September, Saied amended the 2014 electoral law by adopting the individual voting method instead of lists, employing the principle of withdrawing a proxy. He also reduced the number of MPs from 217 to 161, including 10 MPs representing the community abroad.
The upcoming early legislative elections are one of Saied's "exceptional measures" preceded by the dissolution of Parliament and the Supreme Judicial Council, the issuing of legislation by presidential decrees and the approval of a new Constitution for the country through a referendum held on 25 July.
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