More than 90% of Tunisians, according to an exit poll, approve the new constitution, which critics argue would weaken democracy. The vote was boycotted by a few parties, and the turnout was 27.5%.
Tunisia Referendum 2022
92.3 percent of voters in Tunisia’s referendum on Monday supported a new constitution switching the country’s regime to a presidential one according to an exit poll conducted by Sigma Conseil and broadcast on state television.
After opposition parties boycotted the vote in protest, Tunisia’s Electoral Commission announced shortly after the release of the exit poll that voter turnout was only 27.54 percent.
Saied informed a gathering of supporters that his first action following the elections would be to draft a new electoral law. He asserted that the current voting system does not reflect voter intent.
The president also said that “all those who have committed crimes against the country would be held accountable for their conduct,” without naming any specific individuals.
A blow to democracy claim critics
Critics feared that the vote might deliver a severe blow to democracy in the country that gave rise to the Arab Spring revolts of 2010-2011.
At around 11,000 polling locations across the North African nation, voting began at 6:00 AM. local time and was anticipated to close at 10:00 PM.
The referendum occurs exactly one year after President Saied dismissed the government and froze the parliament by enabling the article 80 of the 2014 constitution, while Tunisia battled political and economic challenges.
Monday’s ballot was seen as a vote on Saied’s popularity
Nearly 9.3 million of Tunisia’s 12 million inhabitants aged 18 or older have voluntarily registered to vote or have been officially enrolled. The statistics include approximately 356,000 overseas voters whose voting began on Saturday.
A decade after Tunisia became the lone success story of pro-democracy upheavals in the region, opposition parties and civil society organizations have called for a boycott of the vote and accused Saied of aiming to transform Tunisia into a dictatorship.