News / Africa

Campaign Winds Down in Tunisia's First-Ever Democratic Elections

Supporters of the Islamist Ennahda movement attend a closing campaign rally in Tunis, Tunisia, October 21, 2011.
Supporters of the Islamist Ennahda movement attend a closing campaign rally in Tunis, Tunisia, October 21, 2011.
Lisa Bryant

Ten months after kicking out longtime dictator Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and sparking a wider Arab revolt, the North African country of Tunisia wrapped up its last day of campaigning for its first-ever democratic elections.

It's been a busy day for Boutheina Ferchiou. She's a law professor in Tunis. But Friday, Ferchiou was out on the main Habib Bourguiba artery, handing out flyers for her Modern Democratic Poll coalition party.

Ferchiou said she hopes that Tunisians will vote their conscience - and toward the progressiveness and modernity she says her party embraces.

Ferchiou is one of thousands of candidates vying for a seat on Tunisia's new Constituent Assembly. The body will be tasked to draw up a new constitution and chart a political future after decades of dictatorship. More than 100 parties are competing in the first democratic election here since independence.

Polls show many Tunisians are undecided about which one to vote for. But political blogger Kerim Bouzouita said that's democracy at work.

"We have to read this hesitation like a good sign. Because there is a good political offer. And the situation is not so hard because we have two big tendencies - the conservators and the modernists, or the pragmatists," said Bouzouita.

The party scoring the strongest in all the polls is the moderate, Islamist Ennadha. Hundreds turned out for a final rally outside Tunis on Friday, the last day of campaigning before Sunday's vote.

Graduate student Safa Wouerzhi, 20, is a Ennadha supporter. Wouerzhi said she's for Ennahdha because her parents support the party and it's a great choice. She believes religion should play a role in political life - because Tunisia is an Arabic and Muslim country.

Polls open at 7 a.m. local time on Sunday and close 12 hours later. Election officials say they hope to announce preliminary results later the same day.

Related report

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid