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Tunisia: Electoral Campaign Not on Track

Tunisia is gearing up for its presidential elections on October 25. The election campaign started on October 11, but not all political parties and politicians are able to join the fray. One of those parties is Attajdid (The Renewal), whose posters were absent from the elections banners. The party has also been prevented from starting its election campaign. And if this is not enough, the authorities have censored the party’s mouthpiece “Attariq Al Jadeed” (The New Way) without a convincing reason as explained by blogger Sofiene Chourabi :

حجزت مصالح وزارة الداخلية العدد 149 من جريدة الطريق الجديد بجمع كلّ الأعداد الموجودة بالمطبعة مساء السبت 10 أكتوبر وإشعار صاحب المطبعة بحجز العدد بدعوى تضمنه للبيانين الانتخابيين لحركة التجديد في حين أنه مؤرخ يوم 10 أكتوبر أي قبل انطلاق الحملة الانتخابية وهي تعلات واهية باعتبار أن العدد كان بصدد الطبع مساء السبت 10 أكتوبر ليوزع على الأسواق ابتداء من يوم الأحد 11 أكتوبر الذي تنطلق فيه الحملة الانتخابية.
On the evening of Saturday October 10th, the Interior Ministry seized issue number 149 of “Attariq Al Jadeed” newspaper. This was done by collecting all the printed issues in the printing press and by informing its owner that the confiscation is due to the fact that the issue contains the two electoral manifestos of “Attajdeed “ party with the October 10th date whereas the electoral campaign starts in October 11th. These arguments are nonsense as the issue was being printed on Saturday October 10th in order to be distributed on Sunday October 11th , the day when the electoral campaign starts.

On the other hand, the pictures of the candidate of the ruling party – Tunisian president Zine El Abidine ben Ali – were everywhere, and sometimes illegally. He also made several appearances on TV to promote his campaign, and that is not allowed as stated in the electoral code. Kisses from Tunisia wrote about this and showed pictures from the electoral code and pictures of the ruling party candidate campaigning for his party on a private TV channel.

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