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06.10.2019 Tunisia

Voting begins in Tunisia's third parliamentary polls since uprising

REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi
LISTEN OCT 6, 2019
REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

Tunisians head to the polls Sunday for their third parliamentary election since the 2011 revolution – in a vote that is not expected to produce a clear winner.

Polling stations opened at 8am local time for the 7 million eligible voters, with both local and international observers overseeing the process.

The elections to Tunisia's 217-seat assembly come three weeks after the first round of presidential polls that saw two independent candidates sweep aside the traditional parties to advance to a runoff vote on 13 October.

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Exit polls will be released later Sunday, with preliminary official results expected on Wednesday. Final results are due on 17 November – after which time the parliament will have two months to choose a prime minister and form a new government.

The popular uprising that toppled longtime ruler Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011 paved the way for Tunisia's fragile democracy, but people are still suffering from economic woes including spiralling food prices, inflation and high unemployment.

Ben Ali died last month in Saudi Arabia, where he had been living with his family.

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