Online consultation: over 500,000 participants, politics take lead [Upd 1]
21/03/2022 16:52, TUNIS/Tunisia
(TAP) - The online national consultation announced by the President of the Republic last December 13 to canvas public opinion about reforms closed on March 20.

The electronic platform saw the participation of  534,915 people (366,210 men and 168,705 women), figures show.
The 30-39 age group leads rankings with the highest participation rate (25.6%), while those under 20 are bottom- ranked with 2.3%.

Political issues are of capital importance (19.7%), while cultural and educational issues have the bottom position (15.3%).  The rates of interaction with other themes are as follows: economic issues (17.2%), social affairs (16.5%),  quality of life (15.5%) and sustainable development (15.7%).

 The governorate of Tunis is leading the way with 54,124 participants, the geographical breakdown shows. The lowest participation rate was recorded in Tataouine ( 5,051 participants). As for Tunisian expatriates, France comes on top with 3,340 participants.

President of the Republic Kaïs Saïed said in a speech on Sunday night as Tunisia observed the 66th Anniversary of its independence this consultation is "the first process step towards the national dialogue."  The consultation is a success, he said, 
in spite of "attempts to discourage people from expressing their will."
The Head of State also outlined upcoming events, notably the holding of a referendum next July 25 and general elections on December 17.

The results of the national consultation will be
summarised so as to put forward proposals that will find shape in legal texts developed by a committee, Saied said on December 13.
Political observers said the consultation failed to meet expectations of massive participation.
Although there were various reactions to the consultation, most political parties and social actors called for an inclusive national dialogue in a bid to address Tunisia’s political situation, necessary economic reforms and the calendar for upcoming events.

Parties that were supportive of the consultation include the Alliance for Tunisia, the People's Movement (al-Chaab), Tunisia Forward movement and the People’s Current. They all praised it as a useful mechanism to canvas public opinion and get them involved in decision-making and reform proposals.

Other political parties and actors expressed full rejection of the move and July 25 process. They are mainly Ennahdha, the Coordination of Democratic Parties, 
Citizens against Coup initiative and the Free Destourian Party. They bring the credibility of the consultation into question and say it is a tool used by the Prsident to implement a personal and unilateral political project.

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