Tunisia: Ennahdha Exceeded Authorised Spending Threshold By 40 Percent in Tunis 1 Constituency (I Watch)

Tunisian presidential candidate and media mogul Nabil Karoui leaves prison on October 9, 2019.

Tunis/Tunisia — The I watch organisation, the Tunisian branch of Transparency International, reported in its preliminary report on the observation of the financing of the 2019 parliamentary election campaign that Ennahdha movement has exceeded the authorised spending threshold in Tunis 1 by 40 %.

According to I watch's estimates, Ennahdha spent the sum of 117,297 thousand dinars while the authorised threshold for election expenses in the constituency in question is 83,784 thousand dinars.

Director of programmes within the organisation, Yosra Mkaddem said that I watch has selected 8 partisan and coalition lists (Ennahdha movement, Heart of Tunisia, Democratic Current, Free Destourian Party, Aich Tounsi, Al Badil Ettounsi and Nidaa Tounes) in 8 electoral constituencies: Tunis 1, Tunis 2, Sfax 1, Sfax 2, El Kef, Sousse, Bizerte and Gafsa.

She also stressed at a press conference held on Wednesday in Tunis that the report remains preliminary pending the submission of a final and detailed report on the electoral process. Mkaddem also pointed out that the other lists that were competing in the 8 electoral districts did not exceed the authorised threshold for election expenses.

Afif Jwili, member of I watch, pointed out that the choice of the competing lists was made on the basis of their political weight in these constituencies, their representativeness in all the electoral constituencies, as well as their ability to mobilise financial and human resources during the electoral period.

Observation of the financing of legislative campaigns includes public meetings, the use of state resources, weekly markets and door-to-door. However, virtual campaigns on social networks or political advertising in some television channels are not part of I watch's observation work.

The I watch observer group is composed of 54 people who covered 1,054 activities during the period from September 14 to October 5.

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