5 May 2014

Tunisia: Elections to Take Place This Year, Jomaa and Sarsar Assert

Tunis — "Preparations for the upcoming elections are well underway. Elections will take place this year," Interim Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa and President of the Independent Higher Authority for the Elections (ISIE) Chafik Sarsar stated.

Speaking to the press after a meeting, Monday, between ISIE members and security officials, Mehdi Jomaa said preparations for these elections are taking place under various aspects: security conditions, development of ISIE regional sections and mobilisation of needed human and financial resources.

The government had paid last March an initial amount of 10 million dinars to the ISIE to begin preparations for the next elections, he indicated, adding that the payment of this sum comes at the request of the election body.

Members of the current government will not run for the next elections, he recalled, expressing hope to see these elections be successful.

Chafik Sarsar said the cost of the next elections would be 100 million dinars, according to initial estimates. "Efforts will be made to minimise elections spending without affecting its organisation," he added.

Speaking of the concurrent or separate organisation of presidential and legislative elections, Sarsar said the ISIE was prepared for both scenarios.

In case the elections will be held separately, the presidential elections will be held in two rounds, he said. The second round would be planned for the last Sunday of December, i.e. December 28 while the first round would take place on November 23, in accordance with the electoral law that sets the period between the two rounds at 43 days.

In the same context, the President of ISIE said that five premises on a total of seven have already been developed, noting that human resources and other logistics will be available by the end of this month.

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