[QODLink]
Africa
Tunisia sets up electoral body ahead of vote
Independent body will oversee July 24 elections, as interim government struggles to maintain order.
Last Modified: 10 May 2011 14:14
Delaying the July vote could ignite large protests against the interim government [AFP]

Tunisia has set up an independent body for elections planned in July to shape the country's post-revolution future.

The elections, scheduled for July 24, will select an assembly to draw up a new constitution in the North African country after an uprising toppled ruler Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January.

Tunisia has struggled to restore order since Ben Ali's ousting and Beji Caid Essebsi, the interim prime minister, has raised the possibility that the vote may be postponed because of technical difficulties.

Read more of our Tunisia coverage 

However, any delay could ignite large protests against the government by people who fear the interim administration will fail to guide Tunisia towards democracy after decades of autocratic rule.

It could also spell more trouble for Tunisia's economy which lacks the oil and gas resources of its neighbours.

Tunisia says it needs billions of dollars in foreign loans to help it emerge from the turmoil which has hit the job market and tourism.

The creation of the promised independent electoral body to oversee the vote suggests a step in the right direction.

Tunisian news agency TAP said 13 people had been chosen late on Monday to serve on the committee, including lawyers, accountants and university representatives.

Tension has been running high in the countdown to the vote, especially after a former interior minister last week raised the prospect of a coup.

Police in the capital, Tunis, used teargas on Sunday to break up a fourth day of demonstrations by scores of youths and have clashed with protesters despite a night curfew aimed at keeping order. The capital however has been calm since Monday.

A Tunisian youth died after being shot by a soldier during protest near Tunis, the Associated Press news agency reported on Tuesday. Al Jazeera was unable to confirm the report.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
Iran's government has shifted its take on 'brain drain' but is the change enough to reverse the flow?
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
Activists say 'Honor Diaries' documentary exploits gender-based violence to further an anti-Islamic agenda.
As Syria's civil war escalates along the Turkish border, many in Turkey are questioning the country's involvement.
join our mailing list