Only 8% voter turnout… Tunisia, the worst ‘election neglect’ in political history

In the Tunisian general elections held on the 17th (local time), voter turnout of less than 10%, which is known to be the lowest in modern political history, is expected to be recorded. It is analyzed as a phenomenon that occurred when the authoritarian regime took advantage of Tunisia’s political and economic turmoil and voters’ disillusionment with the established political circles.

According to the Associated Press, the Tunisia Election Commission announced that the turnout for the general election held on that day was tentatively tallied at 8.8%. The final counted voter turnout may be higher than this, but it is not expected to rise significantly. In fact, a voter turnout of less than 10% is likely.

Tunisia’s voter turnout is unprecedentedly low both domestically and internationally. Max Gallien, a researcher at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex in the UK, told Social Network Service (SNS) that “Tunisia has a voter turnout rate that is only half the previous record (set by other countries), and is likely to record the lowest voter turnout in modern world history.” revealed According to the Swedish-based Institute for International Democracy and Electoral Aid (IDEA), the lowest voter turnout recorded so far was 17.8% in Haiti’s 2015 general election.

Record low voter turnout reflects the recent political turmoil in Tunisia. Tunisia was previously evaluated as the origin of the 2011 ‘Arab Spring’ uprising and successfully democratized, which is rare in the Middle East. Recently, the COVID-19 crisis has worsened the people’s livelihood, and anti-government protests have continued.

President Qays Saied, who was elected in October 2019, promised to eradicate corruption and incompetence in the political world, but took excessive steps that were close to rejecting parliamentary politics or party politics. The administration, legislative, and judicial functions were suspended, and the constitutional amendment was made to significantly strengthen the powers of the president. He even revised the election law in a way that effectively prevents political parties from interfering in elections by providing funding for candidates, saying he would completely change the parliament. In response, the opposition boycotted the elections, and the candidates were largely filled with self-financed businessmen, local celebrities and tribal elders.

This systemic change led to the disregard for voting. The majority of voters have become unaware of the facets and political capabilities of candidates running for the region, and in electoral districts where candidates with financial power have registered 스포츠토토 alone, a problem has arisen in which the range of choices is virtually limited. The situation of citizens who are desperate to make a living here has reduced their interest in voting. Citizens who watched the government with uneasy eyes also failed to shake off their distrust of the opposition party and did not actively participate in voting.

The low voter turnout is expected to work in favor of the current administration. This is because if there is no political party to set the agenda and unite lawmakers based on a common cause, it is easy to divide even if a new parliament is formed, and the president’s authority cannot be checked. Among the current candidates, there are many people who tend to support the Said regime. If there is no vote to actively check them, there is a high possibility that they will be elected.

The current opposition coalition, the National Salvation Front, is calling for Saeed’s resignation, saying the record-breaking voter turnout shows the president’s loss of legitimacy. However, there are many people who support the president out of disappointment with the established political circles, so it is unclear whether the demand for resignation will be realized.

The decline in voter turnout in major elections has recently been observed not only in Tunisia but also around the world. Election experts believe that behind this phenomenon are voter indifference, young voters’ disillusionment with corrupt established politics, and voter oppression by authoritarian governments.