Tunisia calls presidential election for 6 October

Tunisia will hold a presidential election on 6 October, the office of President Kais Saied announced Tuesday, though he has not indicated if he will seek a new five-year term after his 2019 election.

"The president of the republic issued a decree today, 2 July 2024, summoning voters for a presidential election on Sunday 6 October 2024," Saied's office said in a statement.

The political crisis sparked by his power grab has weighed heavily on Tunisia's economy, with unemployment standing at 15 percent and around four million of the country's 12 million people living in poverty.

A media crackdown has also seen more than 60 journalists, lawyers and political opponents prosecuted, according to the National Union of Tunisian Journalists.

In May, Saied abruptly replaced the interior and social affairs ministers in a surprise cabinet shuffle following a wave of arrests of rights activists, lawyers and journalists.

Negotiations with the International Monetary Fund for a $2 billion loan have stalled since the 2021 power grab, with Saied rejecting reforms demanded by the body.

But in June, the European Investment Bank on Tuesday announced grants and loans worth 450 million euros ($480 million) to support infrastructure projects as well as small and midsize businesses.

The crisis has driven thousands of Tunisians to attempt perilous Mediterranean boat crossings in the hope of finding better lives in Europe.


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