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Since 2011 Arab Spring: Tunisians vote in first municipal polls

Since 2011 Arab Spring: Tunisians vote in first municipal polls

Sunday Tunisia’s first free municipal elections got its under way. The voters expressed their frustration at the slow pace of change since the 2011 revolution in the cradle of the Arab Spring.

The election has been publicized as another landmark on the road to democracy in the North African country, which has been highly praised for its transition from decades of dictatorship.

Observers expected a low turnout for Sunday’s poll as Tunisia has battled with persistent political, security and economic problems as well as corruption since the revolution.

Around 15 people dropped into a polling station in central Tunis to cast their ballots after voting officially began at 8:00 am (0700 GMT).

Ridha Kouki, 58, acknowledged that voting is “a right and a duty” but said Tunisians “have little hope” of any change.

Chokri Halaoui, 45, said he wanted to send a “message to politicians to tell them ‘we have voted now show us what you can do’.”

Tunisians have already voted in parliamentary and presidential elections since the 2011 fall of dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, but municipal polls had been delayed four times due to logistic, administrative and political deadlocks.

Since 2011 the Tunisians have already voted in parliamentary and presidential elections fall of dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, however the municipal polls had been delayed four times because of logistic, administrative and political deadlocks.

President Beji Caid Essebsi has called for a “massive turnout”.

“For the first time (since the revolution) the Tunisian people are called to participate in municipal elections, something that seems simple but it is very important,” he said on Friday.