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Tunisia eyes two elections in October, November

16 June 2014, 18:16

Tunis - Tunisia's electoral commission on Monday proposed holding long-planned parliamentary elections in October and a presidential poll in November after the political parties agreed a deal following months of negotiations.

"The draft timetable that we have presented (proposes) legislative elections on October 26, the first round of the presidential election on November 23, and the second round on December 28," the commission's chairman, Chafik Sarsar, told journalists.

He was speaking after meeting National Assembly speaker Mustapha Ben Jaafar.

Sarsar hailed the breakthrough in negotiations between the political parties, which allowed for an agreement on Friday between the Islamist Ennahda party and its opponents, on holding the parliamentary election first.

But he called for the election dates to be fixed "as quickly as possible".

The exact timetable of the two polls must be adopted by next Monday, when registration for the electoral lists is due to begin.

Friday's accord followed lengthy delays, with Ennahda, which dominates the National Assembly, calling for the legislative poll first, and its opponents mostly seeking the opposite.

The decision to hold elections this year was part of a roadmap agreed by Tunisia's political parties aimed at ending a lingering political crisis sparked by the killing of two opposition politicians in 2013.

The roadmap had already led to the Islamist-led government's resignation in January and the adoption of a new constitution, some three years after the uprising that toppled president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and inspired revolts against autocratic regimes across the region.

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