Tunisia: Low Turnout of Women in Run-Off Local Elections (Tu-Med)

Tunis/Tunisia — Project director of the Tunisian Mediterranean Centre (TU-MED), Ahlem Karoui, on Sunday, highlighted the low turnout of women in the run-off local elections in the various polling stations covered by the Centre’s observers.

In a statement to TAP, Karoui said the TU-MED Centre had 120 observers in the border and rural regions, spread over 104 electoral districts, as part of its gender-based election observation.

Some observers had been banned from entering polling stations in the governorates of Jendouba and Kasserine, she pointed out.

She also reported two cases of verbal violence against a polling station president and another case of violence and disruption of the electoral process by candidates’ representatives, as well as attempts to influence women’s voting intentions outside polling stations.

Ahlem Karoui said that TU-MED, whose observers cover the governorates of Jendouba, Siliana, Gafsa, Kasserine, Tozeur, Medenine and Tatouine, had observed a number of incidents, including the collective transport of women to polling stations and centres by tractors, buses and cars.

The director of TU-MED also added that a number of women left polling stations without voting for various reasons, including the absence of their names on the electoral roll or because they did not know the polling station.

She added that the Centre also noted the low representation of women presiding over polling stations compared to men, whose rate reached 14% of the total number of polling stations observed.

One observer from the Centre was harassed by a candidate from the governorate of Siliana, she noted.

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