A press conference was organized on Tuesday 2 August 2022 by the President of the Independent Higher Authority for Elections (Isie), Farouk Bouasker.
During his speech, Mr. Bouasker indicated that he will file a complaint against all those who accused the body of fraud and forgery and slandered its members.
Will this threat directed at those who criticize Isie be effective and will it intimidate those who have cried foul for a week?
This is a real head-scratcher on the part of Mr. Bouasker. Without having any valid argument to give to justify the abuses noticed by the Tunisians, he moves up a gear, that of threat. However, it is not certain that it will have any effect on the pitch. In the Tunisian media landscape, there are still some titles that resist. In Isie itself, the voice of member Sami Ben Slama is still dissonant.
Sami Ben Slama often responds to tat and continues to use his Facebook page to point out the inconsistencies and contradictions of his president.
On Tuesday, August 2, 2022, after the press conference, Ben Slama reminded that ” Isie used the state and agency communications service to demonize it and make people forget the disaster they caused. They want people to forget the great crime they committed by taking an illegal and illegitimate decision to ban me from accessing the Isie operating room. This is the main reason for the disaster that occurred and affected the integrity of the procedure. I was prohibited from entering the convention center in a criminal manner using public force, preventing me from fully playing my role as a full member of the body. I should have entered the room to carefully check the vote count and this is the main reason for the primary errors (the instruction will show whether it was deliberate or not) which tarnished the country’s image and gave a golden opportunity to foreign parties to interfere in our internal affairs, casting doubt on the results of the referendum and jeopardizing the July 25 process.”
As he himself is the subject of threats of prosecution from Isie, Sami Ben Slama indicates that he will in return file a complaint for all crimes committed by his colleagues in the case.
Far from each other’s threats, Farouk Bouasker’s press conference is intended to intimidate and is intended to silence those who hold him accountable.
He even took the liberty of challenging those who question the 30.5% voter turnout to ask them to prove that number wrong.
However, it is clear that this rate of 30.5% no longer exists anywhere!
Isie is obliged by law to publish the provisional results of the referendum on its website. This was done on July 26th and that is when this 30.5% rate was published. Except that the document in question has been removed from the website and has still not been replaced to date (verification made on Tuesday 2 August 2022 at 12:00). The reason for the withdrawal of the document is the discrepancy between the figures in this document and those reported by the regional authorities. It is because of this document that accusations of fraud have come from all sides. Isie has admitted a mistake in defending herself against any form of fraud.
Farouk Bouasker can defy his opponents and threaten them, he does not give any concrete answer in facts.
Preliminary results were published and later retracted.
The 30.5% rate was published and then withdrawn.
Farouk Bouasker himself gave two separate polls after the polls closed. On July 25 around 11pm he said the turnout was 27.54%, the next day he said the rate was 30.5%. How did the rate go up when the polls are already closed? Today Farouk Bouasker says the rate is 30.5 and insists it is right! However, this is contradicted by its own services, which removed the participation rate from the agency’s website. Officially, we therefore have no participation percentage written on a legal document!
Another grievance is the case of Tozeur, where the number of voters exceeded the number of registered voters or the prohibition of an official member of the body (Sami Ben Slama) from accessing the convention center and carrying out his mission.
Add to that the absence of foreign observers and the very small number of observers in the polling stations, and the circle is complete.
All these complaints cast doubt on the conduct of the vote, and it is the right of the Tunisians to doubt! Farouk Bouasker cannot decently threaten citizens to sue when he is the first to cause their doubts.
If Isie acted transparently, published the preliminary results in accordance with the law on his website and answered legitimate questions from reporters, there would have been no questioning.
Farouk Bouasker can take the case if he wants to, but he forgets that he gave a lot of weapons to his hypothetical opponents to defend against him.
Raouf Ben Hedi