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15.09.2019 Tunisia

Tunisia votes in second democratic presidential election

By Anne-Marie Bissada - RFI
RFI / Anne-Marie Bissada
LISTEN SEP 15, 2019
RFI / Anne-Marie Bissada

Polling stations have opened in Tunisia, where over seven million people are registered to vote in Sunday's presidential election. It's the second time Tunisians will decide their next president since the 2011 revolution that put an end to autocratic rule. Here's what to expect in today's voting.

Sunday's vote is the first round of Tunisia's second presidential election.

Voters have 26 candidates to choose from, with a run-off to be held if no candidate secures more than 50 percent in the first round. 

No date has been announced for a possible second round, but with legislative elections due in October, it is expected to be in November.

Tasnim Idriss, an observer on voting day for ISIE (the Independent Superior Body for Elections), told RFI what voters can expect on Sunday.

Time and place
Polling stations open across the country from 8am until 6pm local time (0700 -1700 GMT), and are open to anyone 18 years and above who has already registered to vote.

All voting centres will be hosted in public primary, middle and high schools.

Voters are registered in accordance their address of residency, but can also find out which specific bureau by dialling *195# from a local phone.

Voting procedure
Voters need to present an official form of identification, sign their name in the voter register, dip their index finger in the provided electoral ink and select the candidate of their choice in the voting booth.

“For transparency reasons and in order to prevent any election fraud” those who haven't registered won't be able to vote, says Idriss.

She adds that for the past few weeks, ISIE has been trying to update the voter registry and encourage citizens to take part.

Those who have voted in previous elections are already on the registry.

Partial results could be known on the same day, says Idriss.

Preliminary results are normally announced within three days from voting, but the final outcome can take up to a week, allowing for any appeals against electoral breaches to be made.

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