TUNISIA REFERENDUM – Low voter turnout may mar legitimacy of Tunisia constitutional referendum

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Voter turnout had marginally increased by early evening on Monday at the 11,000 polling places in Tunisia as the heat diminished, but there were no lines at the voting sites and little apparent enthusiasm among the voting public for the constitutional referendum under way, a sign of the undeniable indifference of most of the public.

Participation stood at 21.85 percent at 7:30 pm, two-and-a-half hours before the polls were due to close, that percentage being too modest – say many – for President Kais Saied to be able to claim true legitimacy for his controversial political effort, which has been criticized by jurists and boycotted by the political opposition.

Given the speed with which the referendum was organized – with the new prospective constitution being drafted in less than a month behind closed doors and made public only on June 30, then modified on July 8 – some were admitting to EFE on Monday that they had not even read the text but were convinced that approving it could “save” the nation.