News / Africa

Poll Observer Hails ‘Well-Organized’ Tunisia Election

Former Mauritius President Cassam Uteem who was co-chairman of the U.S.-based Carter Center’s election observer team that monitored Tunisia’s poll
Former Mauritius President Cassam Uteem who was co-chairman of the U.S.-based Carter Center’s election observer team that monitored Tunisia’s poll

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  • Clottey interview with Former Mauritius President Cassam Uteem, co-chairman of f the U.S.-based Carter Center’s election observer team

Peter Clottey

The co-chairman of the U.S.-based Carter Center’s election observer team that monitored Tunisia’s poll says his group is satisfied with the “smooth” conduct of the vote.

Former Mauritius President Cassam Uteem says there were no reported cases of misconduct during Sunday’s National Constituent Assembly elections.

“We had not had a single case of misbehavior being reported or that has been brought to our notice,” said Uteem. “Tunisians have come out as if to prove that they deserve to have been given this chance of expressing their vote democratically, something that they haven’t had the chance of doing for a long time.”

Uteem said last Sunday was seen by many as “a day of rejoicing for the Tunisians.”

“As Tunisians themselves have said, whatever the results Tunisia and Tunisians will be the winner[s],” said Uteem.” I think democracy has started to function properly in Tunisia. There is a long way to go for the total establishment of democracy, but they are very well on their way to success.”

The independent electoral commission said more than 90 percent of Tunisia’s 4.1 million registered voters cast ballots.

The observer team included the Carter Center’s President and Chief executive officer John Hardman and former U.S. first lady Rosalynn Carter. It is scheduled to hold a news conference Tuesday to release its preliminary report on the vote.

Tunisia is the first country to organize democratic elections since the recent Arab Spring uprisings toppled long-time leaders. They include former Tunisia leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi.

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