08 August 2011 2:24 pm | | 31


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Tunisia has had several constitutions throughout its history; during Carthage’s empire, as well as during the Beylical era and finally the constitution of 1956.

But this year will be the first time  in Tunisia’s modern history that the citizens will vote for a constituent assembly. The vote will take place on October 23rd, but many people are confused about the details of the electoral process.

So Tunisia Live presents this FAQ to clear up confusion:

  1. What is the Constituent Assembly?
  2. Who can vote?
  3. How many members will be elected per region?
  4. What about Tunisians living abroad?
  5. How is the vote going to take place?

1. What is the Constituent Assembly?

It is an assembly of 217 members who are going to draft the nation’s constitution. A constitution is a set of fundamental principles according to which the state is governed. It establishes the basic rules that define the function and powers of the state, and it determines the duties and liberties of citizens.
The constituent assembly will also be in charge of appointing the future interim government as well as the interim president. The ministers and the president could be either members of the constituent assembly or not.

2. Who can vote?

  • Every person who is at least 18 years old
  • He/she must have Tunisian citizenship
  • Have valid ID card or passport
  • A person registered in the electoral list (you may ask the municipality or consulate for more details)
3. How many members will be elected per region?
Ariana governorate 8 representatives*
Beja governorate 6 representatives
Ben Arous governorate 10 representatives
Benzart governorate 9 representatives
Gabes governorate 7 representatives
Gafsa governorate 7 representatives
Jendouba governorate 8 representatives
Kairouan governorate 9 representatives
Kasserine governorate 8 representatives
Kebili governorate 5 representatives
Kef governorate 6 representatives
Mahdia governorate 8 representatives
Manouba governorate 7 representatives
Medenine governorate 9 representatives
Monastir governorate 9 representatives
Nabeul governorate (1st electoral district) 7 representatives
Nabeul governorate (2nd electoral district) 6 representatives
Sfax governorate (1st electoral district) 7 representatives
Sfax governorate (2nd electoral district) 9 representatives
Sidi Bouzid governorate 8 representatives
Siliana governorate 6 representatives
Sousse governorate 10 representatives
Tataouine governorate 4 representatives
Tozeur governorate 4 representatives
Tunis governorate (1st electoral district) 9 representatives
Tunis governorate (2nd electoral district) 8 representatives
Zaghouan governorate 5 representatives
* The representatives are divided as 1 per 60.000 inhabitants.
4. What about Tunisians living abroad?
The Tunisian diaspora, with its approximately 1,000,000 people, represents 10% of the Tunisian population. There will be 19 representatives of the diaspora in the Constituent Assembly:

France 1 (North)

5

France 2 (South)

5

Italy

3

Germany

1

Arab World & Other

2

Americas & Rest of Europ

2


5. How is the vote going to take place?

Let’s take the example of the al-Kef governorate where 257,000 people live and where 6 representatives will be elected.

The voters will have to choose a list of candidates as following:

 

List 1

Man

Woman

Man

Woman

Man

Woman

List 2

Woman

Man

Woman

Man

Woman

Man

List 3

Man

Woman

Man

Woman

Man

Woman

List 4

Woman

Man

Woman

Man

Woman

Man

  • The lists can represent political parties as well as independent candidates.
  • The members of the lists should be established in Kef.
  • The list should be compounded of 50% men 50% women.
  • At least a member of a list should be less than 30 years old
  • No members of the former regime are allowed to be on the lists
  • No more candidates in a list than the available seats per electoral district.
Let’s suppose that the results of the votes are the following:

List 1

Man

Woman

Man

Woman

Man

Woman

95,000 votes

List 2

Woman

Man

Woman

Man

Woman

Man

60,000 votes

List 3

Man

Woman

Man

Woman

Man

Woman

15,000 votes

List 4

Woman

Man

Woman

Man

Woman

Man

10,000 votes

Only 180,000 persons voted out of the population of 257,000:

  • The 1st list got 53% of the total votes (95,000/180,000)
  • The second list got 33% of the votes
  • The 3rd list has 8.5%
  • The 4th list got 5.5%
Because Kef gets six votes and 180,000 people voted, each seat in the constituent assembly is equivalent to 30,000 votes (180,000 votes / 6 seats = 30,000 votes per seat).

Total number of votes

Number of seats (30.000 votes)

Remaining votes

List 1

95.000

3

5.000

List 2

60.000

2

0

List 3

15.000

0

15.000

List 4

10.000

0

10.000

So as the table above shows, there are only 5 seats that had been allocated (3 for the 1st list and 2 for the 2nd list)

So the 6th seat will be allocated to the list which has the most remaining votes.
In that case, it will be the 3rd list as it has 15,000 remaining votes.

So the persons who are going to be in the constituent assembly will be as follows:

List 1

Man

Woman

Man

Woman

Man

Woman

List 2

Woman

Man

Woman

Man

Woman

Man

List 3

Man

Woman

Man

Woman

Man

Woman

List 4

Woman

Man

Woman

Man

Woman

Man

Even if there are 50% men and 50% women in the lists, there won’t be 3 men and 3 women representing Kef in the constituent assembly.

Hypothetically, under a majority ballot system , the first list would get all the 6 seats since it has 53% of the total vote.

So the chosen system will allow a high representation of the population. In this case, 95% of the voters [(95,000+60,000+15,000)/180,000] are represented in the constituent assembly.

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