Tunisia first post-revolt municipal vote set for March

 Tunisia’s first post-revolt municipal elections originally due to take place in December will be held in March, the authorities said Thursday, after they were postponed at the request of political parties.

The decision to hold the elections on March 25 was taken after a closed-door meetingof the Independent High Authority for Elections with representatives of the government, parties and civil society.

The long-delayed polls had been seen as the final stage in Tunisia’s transition to democracy following its 2011 uprising which sparked the Arab Spring revolutions.

The postponement had come at the request of parties which did not feel ready for the election.

But now that a date has finally been set there will be hopes they can improve the lives of Tunisians frustrated over worsening conditions since the revolution.

Following the uprising, municipalities were dissolved and replaced by “special delegations” — provisional bodies set up to manage urban centres.

This has coincided with falling standards of living in cities and towns where the collection of garbage has been random and quality of infrastructure deteriorated.

At the election in March, almost five million Tunisians are to vote to elect the leaders of 350 municipalities.

Turnout will be key, however, in a country where youths are largely disillusioned over their futures amid high unemployment.

Tunisia has been praised for a relatively democratic transition over the past six years, during which a new constitution was adopted and legislative and presidential polls held in 2014.


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