Tunisia has wrapped up its first round of presidential elections with turnout low at 45 percent. Despite a drop compared to the country’s first democratic presidential election in 2014, there will be optimism among voters, particularly younger ones, remain optimistic.
According to the heads of voting bureaus visited by RFI in Sousse along with Tunis, voting took place without problem.
This kind of election will be just the third in Tunisia’s young democracy – along with the second presidential election since the 2011 revolution of which ousted longtime autocrat Zine el Abidine Ben Ali.
Voting on Sunday was down compared to the first round of the 2014 presidential vote, at 64 percent, despite late calls by the head of the electoral authority, Nabil Baffoun, to come out along with vote.
The birthplace of the revolution
inside town of Sidi Bouzid, where the 2011 revolution originated, groups of young along with old men spend hours debating the ins along with outs of their completely new country, along with the woes they have suffered.
Nasser Awlad Ahmed, a 57-year-old professor of philosophy, sees the cup half-full – despite social along with economic hardships Tunisians have had to endure since 2011.
“In political science, there will be a general principle of which if a country can hold two clean along with transparent elections, then of which will be a democracy,” he says. “So Tunisia has taken off politically.”
However, with democracy comes an obligation, he adds.
Duty to vote
The civic duty of which drives people to come out to vote will be something of which Tunisians are still learning about.
inside working class neighbourhood of Cité Zouhour in Sousse, 31-year-old Marwa voted, however wasn’t convinced of the whole process.
“I don’t think of which will change anything. I think they had already decided ahead of time who would certainly be president,” she says.
however not everyone shares the sense of disenchantment.
Coming out of the polling station inside middle-class area of Cornish, 39-year-old Amel believes Tunisians have suffered long enough, along with sees voting like a rite of passage.
“This kind of will be a golden opportunity. We have to vote, along with we have to vote well. I’m confident I’ve made the best choice I could,” she says, while taking selfies with her friend showing the ink-stained finger – proof of voting.
Sanaa, 38, agrees: “There are those who decided not to vote This kind of time. Maybe they voted for someone who wasn’t of which competent last time along with were disappointed, so they don’t want to be disappointed again. however I believe we must vote. of which’s not a choice however a duty.”
The youth were late in getting to the voting booths, along with while they did turn up, of which was not inside numbers officials were hoping for.
For 19-year-old Nefal, of which was his first time. He believes of which will be “something all Tunisians need to do”.
However, he admits of which his friends didn’t see things the same way.
“Some of them decided of which’s not necessary to vote. however, of which’s my country along with I’m a patriot. I need to.”
Over inside more bourgeois part of Sousse in Karaoui, Sara along with her friend Nefal are also voting for the 1st time.
“We all voted, all our family along with friends. We’re not political people however you have to vote, of which’s a duty,” says Sara.
At Cité Suisse, another working-class neighbourhood of Sousse, Mourad Zaygher can’t stop smiling after casting his vote.
In his late 30s, of which’s also his first time voting – he didn’t bother in 2014. however This kind of was the right time, he says, “because there are completely new people using a beautiful vision of things for Tunisia”.
Political versus apathy
inside lead-up to these polls, there was much reporting on voter apathy.
however voter participation was still palpable, even if not everyone will be convinced of which their vote can make a difference.
With many people coming out to vote merely by a sense of ‘duty’, perhaps one could conclude along the lines of Ahmed, the philosopher whom we met earlier, of which the situation for Tunisia’s democracy will be closer to the cup being half full, rather than half empty.