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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid