By Mehmet Akif Turan
TUNIS, Tunisia (AA) - The turnout in the second round of the early general elections held on Sunday in Tunisia was 11.3%, an official said.
"The voting process was completed without any problems at all polling stations established across the country. 887,638 out of a total of 7,853,447 registered voters participated in the voting process.
"According to these figures, the participation rate was 11.3%," Farouk Bouasker, the head of the electoral commission announced at a news conference.
More than 10,000 ballot boxes were placed at 4,222 election centers across the country, according to government figures.
A total of 262 candidates, including 34 women, are running for 131 seats.
In December’s first round of voting, 23 candidates were elected to the 161-member parliament.
Special elections will be held later for seven constituencies with no candidates.
The early polls are the latest step in a series of exceptional measures taken by President Kais Saied, which started in July 2021 with ousting the government, dissolving parliament and drafting a new constitution.
With around 9.2 million eligible voters, the first round saw a meager turnout of 11.22%, fueling more calls from the opposition for Saied to step down.
Under the new two-round electoral system Saied introduced last year, candidates need to win more than 50% of votes to be elected in the first phase.
Only 13 people cleared that threshold in December, while the other 10 won because they ran unopposed.
The polls were boycotted by several major political parties, including the Ennahda movement, Heart of Tunisia Party, and Movement Party.