Washington – The United States called on Wednesday on Tunisia to show greater democratic inclusion after just 11.4% of voters took part in a second round of elections for a toothless legislature.
“The low voter turnout reflects the dire need for the government to engage in a more inclusive path going forward,” State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel told reporters.
But he said that elections represented “another step in the important and essential process of restoring the country’s democratic checks and balances.”
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The two-round vote that ended on Sunday saw the lowest participation since the 2011 revolution that toppled dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and sparked the Arab Spring uprisings.
Tunisian President Kais Saied in July 2021 froze the legislature, sacked the government and seized wide-ranging powers, in moves that were initially welcomed by some Tunisians tired of political parties seen as corrupt and ineffective.
Saied has defended his record and described the low turnout as a sign of discontent with parliament.
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