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President Saied rejoices over Tunisia’s anticipated referendum victory.

BBC- President Kais Saied of Tunisia has been celebrating what appears to be his victory in a vote on a new constitution that grants him nearly limitless authority.

After an exit poll revealed that more than 90% of voters backed the president’s plan, Mr. Saied stood in front of delighted supporters.

However, due to the main opposition parties’ boycott of the election, turnout was only 27.5%.

Opponents of the president claim that his proposals would only solidify the personal authority he grabbed a year ago.

Mr. Saied claimed that if voting had occurred across two days, turnout, as reported by the nation’s election authority, would have been greater.

He declared that after ten years of political impasse, Tunisia will now enter a new chapter. However, his opponents will point to the poor attendance as invalidating what they view as a concerning turnback to dictatorship.

 

When Tunisia ousted longtime leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011, it marked the starting point of the Arab Spring.

President Saied selected that day for the referendum to commemorate exactly one year since his momentous decision to dissolve the administration and suspend the legislature.

He has effectively ruled by edict ever since.

The new constitution would grant the head of state complete executive control, ultimate command of the army, and the power to appoint a government without parliamentary approval. It would replace the one that was drafted in 2014, three years after the Arab Spring.

According to Mr. Saied, it was necessary to end a cycle of political inaction and economic decline.

He said his reforms were being done in the spirit of the 2011 revolution and will ensure a better future.

“Our money and our wealth are enormous, and our will is even greater, to rebuild a new Tunisia and a new republic, one that breaks with the past,” the president said after voting on Monday morning.

His many detractors claim that it might bring Tunisia back to an actual dictatorship.

There appeared to be little enthusiasm for the vote, despite the fact that President Saied continues to have a core of supporters among Tunisians who think the nation needs a strong leader to address its issues.

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