The discredited results of the 2022 referendum

The Electoral Act strictly prohibits questioning the conduct of an election. However, Tunisians swept this law away and indulged themselves to their heart’s content on Wednesday, July 27, 2022, mocking the Independent High Authority for Elections (Isie).

These taunts come after the numbers Isie gave on Tuesday, July 26, late in the evening. As soon as they were published, we started pointing out the discrepancies.

In its preliminary report published on Tuesday, Isie announces that the number of final voters is 2.830 million, representing a participation rate of 30.5%. However, the same Isie announced 24 hours earlier that the number of voters at 10 pm was 2.458 million, equivalent to 27.54%.

Knowing that the polls close at 10pm, there is technically no way for the number of voters to increase, even by one vote!

It was only after a careful examination of the figures on Wednesday morning that we could discover real monstrosities that raised the suspicion of a grotesque manipulation of the results of the referendum.

We have thus noticed inconsistencies between the figures given by the regional authorities (Irie) and the figures passed on by the head office. Sometimes the number of Irie is lower than Isie and sometimes it is vice versa.

The controversy began to grow by mid-morning, prompting Isie to remove the scoreboard from her Facebook page and then from her website. Of late, internet users and media have already downloaded the document and pointed out the constituencies where there are discrepancies. They are all worried, without exception!

Late Wednesday morning, Isie issued a statement to admit that errors had crept into its documents and that it had published an outdated document. She reminds in the process that the figures presented are provisional and that the official final figures will be published later.

By the way, the body categorically denies any fraud and ensures that its figures are authentic. Which numbers first? No one knows yet if we should consider Irie’s or Isie’s figures.

Isie may be admitting error related to a problem updating the file, the argument doesn’t seem very credible as it doesn’t hold water.

It is the city of Tozeur that crushes Isie’s argument, since in this city we notice a number of voters higher than the number of registered! Even if there is an update error, the number of registered voters must systematically be greater than the number of voters. As a reminder, the number of people registered in Tozeur is 85,035 people. Irie said there were 28,878 voters while Isie said there were 105,515. Tozeur represents another problem and it is related to the number of its inhabitants of the order of 115,675 citizens, according to the official figures of the National Institute of Statistics (INS). The conditions simply do not hold water!

All these inconsistencies have caused internet users to make fun of Isie and its characters. More seriously, some citizens and some NGOs have since this morning called for a recount of the votes by independent organizations that do not belong to Isie.

It is recalled in the process that election day was characterized by several excesses. The most spectacular is undoubtedly the President of the Republic, initiator of the referendum, who violated the electoral silence. NGO citizens, parties and even Haica (audio-visual police) cried foul. After more than 24 hours, Isie reacted weakly, indicating that the president’s remarks are definitely against the law, but have absolutely no influence on the vote. CQFD.

Other characteristics of this election day, there were no international observers (with the exception of the Arab League), domestic observers were very limited in number, so that the overwhelming majority of polling stations only registered the presence of the members of Isie itself. There were no representatives of parties, NGOs or media in these offices. Finally, we also register the harassment of several Tunisian and foreign journalists. Some were prevented by Isie agents from doing their work, others suffered the horrors of the security forces who searched them and deleted the pictures they took.

All this casts a strong discredit on a body that continues to make headlines since the appointment of its new members.

The fact that its members were appointed by the President of the Republic, the skirmishes between President Farouk Bouasker and the elected member Sami Ben Slama (forbidden to enter the operating room on election day) gave an image of an Isie composed of opportunists in the reward of power, rather than independent people dedicated to their mission.

With this veritable scandal of so-called numerical errors, it is no longer just Isie that is being discredited, it is the entire referendum process and its results that are being called into question.

Can we therefore talk about fraud, falsification of results or ballots? It would go quickly. There must be a formal remedy and only a court of law has the discretion to pronounce such serious charges. The problem is that the appeal in question is only possible for those who have registered as members of the campaign. However, the overwhelming majority of these members are among the supporters of “yes”. “Yes”, which won with a Soviet score of 94.6%.

In other words, to stay concrete, the doubts of the Isie figures cannot exceed the social networks and some media that still dare to challenge Kaïs Saïed’s regime.

Raouf Ben Hedi

Leave a Comment