25.8 C
Abuja
Saturday, September 26, 2020

Forgotten European atrocities in Africa: Peek into abuses and man’s inhumanity to man

This story was done exactly two years ago, it generated quite a lot of feedbacks including a charge one from Shadrack Mandela which stated thus: 'less...

Bill Gates confident coronavirus vaccine will work in Africa, but Africans on Twitter not having it

Talks to have a potential vaccine for Covid-19 tested in Africa, because the number of infected people is not as high as other countries...

Africa’s low coronavirus rate puzzles health experts

Whether it's a matter of faulty detection, climatic factors or simple fluke, the remarkably low rate of coronavirus infection in African countries, with their...

Crime against Congo: Cases against King Leopold II and Belgium

The intriguing thing about the entrance of King Leopold II into Africa is that it was not with any force or coercion; rather, his...

Open letter to Mrs Seinye Lulu-Briggs: Release High Chief Olu Benson Lulu-Briggs body for burial

Dear Ma, I hope this letter meets you in good health.It is with deep sense of respect that I have chosen to write to you...

History Special: Queen Amina, a warrior among men

In many climes in Africa, women have had to struggle to rise above the perking order of patriarchal expectations.They were highly accepted among men...

Tunisians vote in tightly contested presidential election

Tunisians are casting votes for its second free presidential election since 2011 uprising that brought down ex-president Ben Ali and started the Arab Spring.

Polling stations opened at 8am (0700 GMT) from the capital Tunis to the northwest, the interior and the Saharan villages in the south.

In the upmarket Tunis suburb of La Marsa, long queues formed outside polling stations. “These are really historic moments. I got here at 7am… to give my voice to our new leader who must protect our democracy,” said Lilia Amri, 36, a bank worker.

Tunisia threw off autocratic rule eight years ago in a revolution that inspired “Arab Spring” revolts in Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya and Syria, but it alone has enjoyed a peaceful transition to democracy.

However, a perceived decline in living standards since the 2011 uprising, with higher unemployment and inflation, has frustrated many voters and turnout for local elections last year was only 34%.

Heavily indebted, Tunisia’s next government, like its last, will have to navigate popular demands to relax public purse strings while foreign lenders push for spending cuts.

While foreign attention, especially in Arab countries, is focused on the moderate Islamist Ennahda party, Tunisians have been engrossed by the fate of media mogul Nabil Karoui, running from behind bars on suspicion of money laundering and tax evasion, which he denies.

A court on Friday ruled he must stay in detention after his arrest last month, leading his supporters to claim he has been silenced.

Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, as well as two former prime ministers, a former president and the defence minister are among the two dozen candidates hoping to win outright or, if none of them win more than 50%, to advance to a second round run-off.

Two of the 26 still listed on the ballot papers have withdrawn in recent days to support an opposing candidate.

Crowed Race

With so many in the race, Sunday’s vote could produce a very close outcome, with few votes separating the two candidates who make the second round run-off, due by Oct. 13, from the others.

The election was brought forward after the death in July of the incumbent Beji Caid Essebsi, and the independent election commission will have to deal with any appeals against the official verdict quickly.

Analysts have warned that a close outcome, with several candidates near the cut-off point to make the second-round, and a host of existing allegations of low-level malfeasance, make appeals likely.

Tunisia’s president has direct control over foreign and defence policy while most other portfolios are handled by a prime minister chosen by parliament.

With that limited role, many candidates have emphasised their policies on security – an area in which Tunisia has improved since two jihadist attacks in 2015 killed scores of tourists, devastating the country’s tourism sector.

Those attacks added to the country’s wider economic problems, and the number of visitors has only recovered this year though annual growth of around 2% has failed to produce a surge in private sector jobs.

In recent years only small-scale attacks have taken place and foreign diplomats say Tunisia’s security forces are far better equipped now to tackle threats than they were four years ago.

Elections for the parliament will be held on October 6.

- Advertisement -

Latest Posts

Post coup Mali interim president and vice sworn in

ReutersRetired colonel Bah Ndaw was sworn in as Mali’s interim president on Friday, tasked with presiding over an 18-month transition back to civilian rule...

Migrants stranded in Libya face vicious cycle of cruelty

Associated PressAmnesty International said Thursday that thousands of Europe-bound migrants who were intercepted and returned to Libyan shores this year have disappeared after being...

Unusually heavy rains in Senegal expose big gap in $1.4B flood plan

ReutersMore than two weeks after heavy rains hit Senegal, thigh-high stagnant water still fills streets in Dakar’s suburbs, as angry residents ask what happened...

Fmr French president Sarkozy to know fate in cash-from-Libya case

AFPA Paris appeals court will rule Thursday on a legal challenge by ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy and former aides against an investigation into claims that...

Don't Miss

Post coup Mali interim president and vice sworn in

ReutersRetired colonel Bah Ndaw was sworn in as Mali’s interim president on Friday, tasked with presiding over an 18-month transition back to civilian rule...

Migrants stranded in Libya face vicious cycle of cruelty

Associated PressAmnesty International said Thursday that thousands of Europe-bound migrants who were intercepted and returned to Libyan shores this year have disappeared after being...

Unusually heavy rains in Senegal expose big gap in $1.4B flood plan

ReutersMore than two weeks after heavy rains hit Senegal, thigh-high stagnant water still fills streets in Dakar’s suburbs, as angry residents ask what happened...

Fmr French president Sarkozy to know fate in cash-from-Libya case

AFPA Paris appeals court will rule Thursday on a legal challenge by ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy and former aides against an investigation into claims that...

US Secretary of States pushes for breakthrough on Sudan deal

AFPWith weeks to go before US elections, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is racing to make a breakthrough with Sudan that he hopes could...

Ouattara party dares Ivorians, says will hold election with or without opposition

ReutersIvory Coast’s ruling party said on Tuesday it will push ahead with the October election regardless of whether the opposition participate, comments likely to...

Egypt’s Sisi committed to ridding Libya of militia, regional interference

ReutersEgypt is committed to helping Libyans “rid their country of armed militias and terrorist organizations, and put an end to the blatant interference of...

France to Mali junta restore power to civilians quickly

ReutersMali’s military junta must restore power to civilians and arrange quick elections, France’s president said on Tuesday, warning that the French role in fighting...

Fmr Air force colonel named Mali interim president, junta leader VP

ReutersFormer Mali defence minister and retired colonel Bah Ndaw was named interim president on Monday while the leader of the junta that seized power...

Leading Ethiopia opposition activist, Jawar Mohammed slammed with terror charges

Associated PressEthiopia has charged its most prominent opposition figure, Jawar Mohammed, and 23 others with terrorism-related offenses, telecom fraud and other crimes, the attorney...
%d bloggers like this: