‘Yes’ vote wins Tunisia landslide, but critics question support | Politics News

The opposition says the low turnout for the constitutional referendum reveals President Kais Saied’s weak spot.

Tunis, Tunisia – Outcomes present that Tunisians have voted to approve a brand new structure proposed by President Kais Saied, however the nation’s opposition says the low turnout of solely about 30 p.c reveals the president’s weak spot and the illegitimacy of the method.

In accordance with preliminary outcomes introduced by the Tunisian Impartial Greater Election Authority (ISIE) on Tuesday night, 94.6 p.c of voters authorized the constitution.

A monthlong attraction course of will now be held earlier than the ultimate result’s introduced on the August finish.

The low turnout got here amid a boycott marketing campaign from the Tunisian opposition, which says the brand new structure will probably lead Tunisia again to one-man rule, because it modifications the nation from a hybrid parliamentary system to a hyper-presidential one, and removes various checks and balances.

Farouk Bouasker, the pinnacle of the ISIE, steered away from discussing voter turnout after many members of the opposition emphasised that almost all of Tunisians not solely didn’t vote for Saied, however additionally they didn’t have interaction in his referendum course of.

Farouk Bouasker, President of the Independent High Authority for Elections, speaks during the announcement of the preliminary results of a referendum on a new constitution in Tunis,
ISIE President Farouk Bouasker publicizes the preliminary outcomes of the referendum on a brand new structure in Tunis, Tunisia, July 26, 2022 [Tarek Amara/Reuters]

Saied, who mentioned on Monday that folks had been free to skip the referendum, insisted the brand new doc will hold the freedoms enshrined within the 2014 iteration of the structure, including his modifications are essential to weaken a “corrupt” political elite.

The populist, who got here into energy in 2019, retains a powerful help base from Tunisians uninterested in the financial and political crises which have dominated the nation for the reason that 2011 revolution, however has misplaced help since he suspended parliament and dissolved the federal government final July.

Saied will proceed to have the ability to rule by decree till parliamentary elections are held in December.

Considerations and questions

In a information convention, Nejib Chebbi, a number one member of the opposition Nationwide Salvation Entrance, mentioned low turnout “de-legitimises the general course of”.

His feedback had been echoed by the founding father of the US-based Middle for Analysis of Islam and Democracy, Radwan Masmoudi.

“You may’t approve or undertake a brand new structure with lower than 30 p.c of the voters,” he advised Al Jazeera. “In actuality, the numbers are far smaller, however the ISIE was beneath his [Saied’s] management, particularly within the inside of the nation, and rigged the leads to his favour as was anticipated.”

Questions have abounded about how correct the outcomes and the official turnout are, significantly as few election observers have been current.

Internationally, the response to the referendum has been muted.

US Division of State spokesman Ned Worth mentioned Washington was conscious of considerations amongst civil society organisations and politicians concerning the lack of an “inclusive and clear course of and the restricted scope for real public debate through the drafting of the brand new structure”.

He added: “We additionally word considerations that the brand new structure contains weakened checks and balances that would compromise the safety of human rights and elementary freedoms.”

Assist for Saied

Polls have repeatedly proven that regardless of a pointy drop in Saied’s approval score, he would nonetheless be the most well-liked presidential candidate if an election had been to be referred to as.

“It’s not that Saied is common it’s simply that he’s politically stronger than the others,” political writer Amine Snoussi advised Al Jazeera. “Meaning that there’s a political house for different actors to put in and revenue from.”

The voters Al Jazeera spoke to at polling stations earlier than the rely mentioned their largest concern was the way forward for their kids or grandchildren. Many have excessive expectations, and so they hope that Saied will make drastic modifications to the nation.

However Snoussi fears what would possibly occur now that Saied has all of the powers of the state in his fingers.

“I feel he’s going to rule simply as he dominated for the final yr, however now he has the legislation with him, now he has each instrument he wants to put in an authoritarian regime,” he defined.

Trump-backed election denier wins Maryland GOP governor primary | Elections News

Democrats hope nomination of Dan Cox, whom they describe as ‘too excessive’, will assist them in Democratic-leaning state.

Donald Trump-backed state legislator Dan Cox has gained the Republican nomination for governor, defeating Kelly Schulz, a former state official who was endorsed by present Governor Larry Hogan – a Trump critic.

Hogan, a average Republican, gained two gubernatorial phrases in Maryland, a Democratic-leaning state that favoured President Joe Biden over Trump by greater than 33 share factors in the 2020 elections.

Many commentators predicted that Cox’s nomination on Tuesday will likely be a blow to Republicans’ hopes of retaining the governorship in Maryland due to his far-right views, together with backing Trump’s false election fraud allegations.

The truth is, the Democratic Governors Affiliation (DGA) could have helped Cox defeat Schulz by operating adverts throughout the major season portraying him as a right-wing Trump loyalist. A number of US media shops reported that the DGA spent greater than $1m on such adverts.

“Principally, you give an help to the candidate you need to run in opposition to by attacking them as being too conservative or too Trumpy – and, in doing so, you increase their profile and improve their attraction to the GOP MAGA base,” the Politico Playbook e-newsletter mentioned in Tuesday’s version, co-authored by Ryan Lizza and Eugene Daniels.

The DGA was fast to launch an advertisement on Wednesday, calling Cox “too excessive for Maryland”.

Cox has been enthusiastically backing the unfounded claims that the 2020 election was stolen. In line with media experiences, he organised buses to the January 6, 2021 Trump rally in Washington, DC, that happened earlier than the assault on the Capitol. He additionally referred to as then-Vice President Mike Pence a “traitor” in a now-deleted tweet for refusing to unconstitutionally overturn the elections whereas presiding over the electoral vote depend.

Cox’s victory comes because the congressional committee investigating the January 6 riots presents its findings in a collection of public hearings which have centered on Trump’s role in driving the violence that day. A whole bunch of Trump supporters had stormed the US Capitol constructing to forestall the certification of Biden’s victory.

Cox is the newest Trump-backed election denier to win a aggressive Republican major after comparable victories for the previous president’s allies throughout the nation.

It is usually a setback for Hogan’s model of conventional conservatism. The Maryland governor beforehand referred to as Cox a “Q-Anon conspiracy theorist who says loopy issues daily”.

Late on Tuesday, earlier than Cox was projected to be the winner, Trump hit out at Hogan, calling him a RINO – Republican in identify solely.

“RINO Larry Hogan’s Endorsement doesn’t appear to be figuring out so nicely for his closely favoured candidate. Subsequent, I’d like to see Larry run for President!” Trump wrote on his Reality Social on-line platform.

Each Trump and Hogan are potential presidential candidates for 2024, however neither has introduced official plans to run.

Cox will probably face greatest promoting creator Wes Moore or former Democratic Nationwide Committee chair Tom Perez in November. As of Wednesday afternoon, Moore had an early lead over Perez, however the race has not been referred to as but.

AIPAC-backed candidate wins in closely watched US Democratic race | Elections News

Amid heavy pro-Israel spending, former congresswoman Donna Edwards loses bid to return to Congress in Maryland main.

US pro-Israel teams have claimed victory in one other win in Democratic congressional primaries, serving to defeat a veteran former lawmaker crucial of Israel, who was endorsed by Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Former prosecutor Glenn Ivey – backed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which spent thousands and thousands of {dollars} to assist his marketing campaign – gained in opposition to ex-congresswoman Donna Edwards in Maryland on Tuesday.

The race mirrored different Democratic primaries on this election cycle, the place the AIPAC-aligned tremendous PAC, the United Democracy Mission (UDP), has been sponsoring advertisements attacking Israel’s critics on points unrelated to the Center East to prop up its favoured candidates.

However whereas in earlier contests UDP largely got here on the aspect of establishment-backed candidates against progressives, Edwards loved the help of many prime mainstream Democrats.

She was endorsed by former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in addition to key lawmakers, together with congressman Adam Schiff; Pelosi additionally defended the previous congresswoman in opposition to AIPAC’s assaults.

Edwards had represented the Home district neighbouring Washington, DC for practically a decade, earlier than launching an unsuccessful Senate bid in 2016. She hoped to return to Congress with incumbent congressman Anthony Brown working for Maryland lawyer normal.

The district is overwhelmingly Democratic, so Ivey is nearly definitely to be elected to Congress after the final elections in November.

UDP spent virtually $6m to assist defeat Edwards, in keeping with Open Secrets, a web site that tracks election spending. The Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI), one other pro-Israel group, additionally spent $426,000 in help of Ivey.

Edwards loved some outdoors backing however nowhere close to the extent of sources UDP and its allies put into the race. One other PAC, aligned with J Road – a liberal Jewish group that opposes the occupation, spent $413,000 to again her.

It isn’t clear how such spending might have affected the end result of the race. The previous congresswoman had a large lead over Ivey in an early public opinion ballot in Might.

“Glenn Ivey was down 21 factors simply two months in the past. However with the help of our group and our new political technique, Ivey got here again to win this critically necessary election,” AIPAC mentioned in an e mail to supporters on Wednesday.

On Twitter, the group added Ivey’s identify to a listing of 9 Democratic candidates it has efficiently backed in primaries this 12 months.

“Being pro-Israel is each good coverage and good politics,” AIPAC mentioned in a publish. DMFI additionally celebrated Ivey’s victory with an analogous assertion.

AIPAC’s critics have known as on the Democratic management to denounce the pro-Israel spending within the celebration’s primaries, particularly for the reason that group receives funds from conservative donors and has endorsed dozens of Republicans aligned with former President Donald Trump.

Palestinian rights advocates informed Al Jazeera earlier this 12 months that whereas this sort of election spending by pro-Israel teams might yield quick victories, it won’t finish the controversy in regards to the concern, particularly with rising US public consciousness of Israeli abuses in opposition to Palestinians.

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and B’Tselem have accused Israel of apartheid. In the meantime, in the US, there have been growing calls for conditioning army support to Israel.

Beth Miller, political director at JVP Motion, a political advocacy group linked to Jewish Voice for Peace, mentioned the Democratic Celebration must “get smart quick” earlier than Tremendous PACs funded by Republican donors “convey down any likelihood of significant and progressive change”.

“AIPAC’s electoral playbook is evident. They discover races the place hawkish, pro-apartheid candidates want additional help, they usually flood these races with thousands and thousands of {dollars} to smear progressives on points unrelated to Israel or Palestinian rights,” Miller informed Al Jazeera on Wednesday.

“When their candidate rides that multimillion-dollar help to a victory, they flip round and declare it was all about Israel when it by no means was. It’s in regards to the function of right-wing Tremendous PAC funding undermining progressive candidates.”