Tunisian authorities set up electoral commission
TUNIS - The body responsible for preparing crucial elections in Tunisia in July has approved the creation of an electoral commission, its president said Thursday.
Yadh Ben Achour said the decision was taken on Wednesday and that the new vote panel will have 12 members. "We have defined the architecture of this electoral commission, which must be approved by the government," he said.
Authorities in the north African country are setting up new administrative bodies and laying the groundwork for a democratic Tunisia after the popular uprising that led in January to the fall of the regime of president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
Ben Achour's high commission has also to decide on the conditions of eligibility to stand for election, as well as the pattern of voting, either in two rounds with single candidates or through electoral lists of candidates with proportional representation, in one round.
Ben Achour said it was likely that the second solution of a single-round poll with proportional representation was likely to be chosen, but stressed that all regions, "even the most remote and forgotten under the old regime (of Ben Ali) should be represented."
"It is in part this feeling of having been totally ignored and humiliated in the delegations (constituencies the size of an administrative district) which was one of the causes of the explosion in January" that brought down Ben Ali's regime, Ben Achour added.
The election of a constituent assembly is scheduled for July 24.