Tunisian Presidential Election

Updated: May 2016

To support voters with disabilities for the 2014 presidential elections, the Independent High Authority for Elections in Tunisia created a 15-minute educational film explaining how to vote and how results are calculated to determine who wins a seat in Parliament and as the President of Tunisia. 




(voiceover in Arabic, with French subtitles and Tunisian sign language provided


Narrator: The living heart, the loud. A film for the vote of people with disabilities. 2014 Elections. I love Tunisia.

Man (Fedi): Article 48 of the Tunisian Constitution states "The State protects persons with disabilities against all forms of discrimination. Every citizen handicapped the right to receive, depending on the nature of disability, all the measures that guarantee the full integration into society. It is incumbent upon the State to take all necessary measures to that effect. "

This provision sets out the obligation vis-à-vis State to support persons with disabilities and opens the way for positive measures. Our hearts are alive.

Title: Slim: The Challenge

Narrator: Slim is an official from the Ministry of Social Affairs, and is the President of the association "Our theater for people with disabilities." Slim Ben Hamad, overcoming his handicap, shows all that his art requires a sincere passion. True citizenship means to be present and to act through activities.

Man (Slim): Slim Ben Hamed, Tunisian citizen, President of the association "Our theater for people with disabilities." For me, theater is my life, and I perform my responsibilities at the same time as being an official in the Ministry. I have loved the theater since childhood, it flows in my veins. My goal is to overcome my disability. It is a great challenge for a disabled person to get on stage and stay there for 2 hours, and the message I want to convey is that there are no other disabilities than those in the heart and consciousness.

Title: Amani: The passion to communicate.

Narrator: Amani is a student of first year graduate physical therapy, a specialty that attracts many persons who are blind or have low vision. They are particularly strong in this area because they can feel and see the world around them through their hands. Amani feels at ease among her friends. She argues that the human bond is created through the ability of the blind to be assertive and to gain the respect of those around her.

Woman (Amani): I am Amani, I live in the governorate of Sfax. I study physiotherapy, and my interests are poetry and writing stories for children. Thanks to God, I'm a sociable person despite my disability. I challenge my disability when I engage with others in my studies, my daily life and all my other activities at large. It's very important to belong to a group.

Title: Fedi: Success

Narrator: Fedi El Behri is a young, proud Tunisian. He finished his studies and became a sign language teacher at a higher institute of humanities. His belief is that his voice can be heard if he really wants to be heard.

Man (Fedi): My name Fedi El Behri. I am a trainer and specialist in Tunisian sign language and activist for the deaf, a Deaf activist. I participated  in the Organization of the Defense of the Disabled. We spoke with the deputies of the National Constituent Assembly of disability rights. These discussions have allowed us to participate fully in the activities of civil society and public affairs.

Title: How to Vote.

Narrator: Arrival at the polling station. Voters with disabilities have priority to enter the polling station. In the poll room, observers are attending the voting process as well as members of the polling station and the president of the polling station.

Presentation of identity papers and handicap card. Voters with disabilities must present their identity card or passport and their handicap card. Voters who have a disability and require assistance, may be assisted by an attendant. The attendant must be a family member: parent, grandparent, spouse, child or grandchild. The attendant must be qualified to be a Tunisian elector. If an elector needs an attendant but arrives without one, the president at the voting place can choose someone among voters present to assist the voter with a disability.

Verification of identity and signature of the voter register. The voter with a disability shows the poll worker his identity card or passport and his disability identification card. Once identity is verified, the voter signs the electoral register before the name.

Putting ink on the finger. The voter dips the index finger of their left hand in the ink. The accompanying person dips the finger of the left hand in ink. The accompanying person can attend a voter with a disability during Election Day.

The operations are conducted in the same way for people who are blind. The voter and the attendant should have the required papers. In the next step, the attendant assists the voter if required. For inking the finger, the voter may be assisted by the attendant. The voter dips in ink the forefinger of the left hand, and the attendant inks the little finger of her left hand.

Stamping the 4 corners and delivery of the ballot paper. The poll worker stamps the 4 corners of the back of the ballot paper. He gives it to the attendant if the voter can not grasp the ballot themselves. Voters who are blind may request to use a tactile guide to mark their ballot.

Marking and folding of the ballot paper. If the voter arrives and realizes they can vote independently, the attendant should step away. Otherwise, the attendant will support the voter without influencing their choice. The voter places an "x" in the box for the candidate of their choice. Before leaving the ballot booth must be folded in four. For voters who are blind, the accompanying person can write the cross "x" in the box according to the choice of the voter. A tactile guide is available to so that the voter can write on the ballot paper with a cross "x" without assistance. The ballot should be retrieved and folded before leaving the voting booth.

Casting the ballot in the ballot box and leaving the polling station. The voter and the attendant head to the ballot box and show their inked fingers before casting the ballot into the ballot box. Once the ballot is inserted in the ballot box, the voter and the attendant head for the exit of the polling station and leave the voting center. The voting process is now complete, and the voter has voted for Tunisia. 

Title: Calculation of the results.

Narrator: The voting system used for elections is proportional representation. To illustrate the method for allocating seats in parliamentary elections, consider the following example. Suppose that 12 seats are to be allocated in a constituency where 4 lists are candidatées. 141 votes were cast and divided as follows: List A had 44 votes. The List B had 33 votes. List C had 29 votes. List D had 35 votes.

The distribution of seats is calculated from the electoral quota as follows: Divide 144 votes by the 12 seats to be allocated, and the result is 11.75, which is the electoral quotient. To know the distribution of seats, divide the result of each list by the electoral quotient.

List A : 44 votes divided by 11.75 = 3.74

List B : 33 votes divided by 11.75 = 2.81  

List C : 29 votes divided by 11.75 = 2.47

List D : 35 votes divided by 11.75 = 2.98

List A gets 3 seats. List B receives 2 seats. List C gets 2 seats. List D gets 2 seats. And so 9 seats are distributed, out of 12 seats. The three remaining seats will be distributed according to the largest remainder occurring after the comma.

List D gets an extra seat because it has the "largest remainder": 98. List B also receives an extra seat since it has the second "largest remainder": 81. List A also receives an extra seat for it has the third "largest remainder" 74. List C receives no extra seat, for there are no more seats available.

So 12 seats in the district have been allocated and the results obtained are as follows: List A receives 4 seats. List B receives 3 seats. List C gets 2 seats. List D receives 3 seats. 

As for the Presidential election, the calculation of results is based on an absolute majority. For example, if a candidate in the first round of the presidential election gets 50% plus one vote, they are elected President of the Republic. In the event of no candidate receiving an absolute majority in the first round, a second round is held between the two candidates before receiving the largest number of votes in the first round. The one who received the most votes in the second round, becomes the President of the Tunisian Republic.

Title: For your information.

Fedi: The President of the Republic represents the state. It is the symbol of its unity, ensures respect for the Constitution, exercises executive power and guarantee the independence and continuity of the State. He is the commander in chief of the armed forces and can not hold the post of President of the Republic for two terms.

Title: Messages for our citizens.

Amani: With my hand I recognize the letters and it is also with my hand I give my vote in the elections so that my country can also recognize the letters of democracy. 

Slim: "I vote, therefore I am." That's the message I want to convey to persons with disabilities. 

Narrator: Presidential Election 2014. Election day in Tunisia, November 23, 2014. For Tunisians living abroad, the days of voting are 21, 22, and 23 November 2014. The voting places are open from 8 am until 6 pm.

For more information, you can call the number 1814 or visit the website www.isie.tn or visit our Facebook page. Special thanks to the participants in this film, Fedi El Behri Amani Jribi, Slim Ben Hamed, as well as civil society. This film was directed by the High Independent Authority for the Elections to the attention of persons with disabilities - Tunisia 2014


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