There is a chance for political newcomers to revolutionalise politics in Tunisia

Just yesterday, October 11, Tunisia headed to the polls at the popular assembly to elect representatives. The election which is the third free parliamentary election in Tunisia since the 2011 revolution, is important for the country’s economic and social stability. So far, there are two candidates in the presidential runoff, one is in jail and both are claiming victory.

Of the 220 registered political parties in Tunisia, only 10 are fielding candidates in all 33 districts and voter turnout at 45. 02 percent was lower than the previous election. The country’s Presidential elections were held in Tunisia on September 15 and all the major-party candidates were knocked out, leaving two contenders. When no candidate received a majority of the vote in the first round, a runoff was scheduled to be held on September 29.

Saied an anti-corruption independent law professor won 18.4 percent votes while detained Karoui, is a businessman and co-owner of a popular TV network, won 15.6 percent. Karoui was arrested in August on charges of money-laundering and tax fraud, which he denies. The 56-year-old contested the election from a jail cell pending his trial.

In the parliamentary elections, Karoui’s new Qalb Tounes (Heart of Tunisia) appeared to be heading for victory, according to polling agencies, though the rival conservative Ennahdha party, a member of several coalitions since the revolution which backed Saied, has come in first in Tunisia’s parliamentary election, according to an exit poll broadcast by state TV. However, both parties claimed to come out on top of Sunday’s voting.

The Sunday vote featured more than 16,000 candidates from more than 200 different parties competing to fill the 217-seat unicameral legislature, the Assembly of People’s Representatives. In the country, the president directly controls foreign and defense policy, the largest party in parliament nominates the prime minister, who then forms a government that shapes most domestic policy, including on the economy. Meanwhile, it was discovered in a 2019 survey by the International Republican Institute that 70 percent of the population distrusted political parties, while 59 percent somewhat or greatly distrusted parliament.