Oct.2 - Campaigning for the first election since Tunisia's revolution is underway three weeks ahead of the ballot. Paul Chapman reports.
Tunisia's political parties are on the campaign trail three weeks ahead of the nation's first election since the uprising that ousted the president. The ballot is also being billed as the first free election in Tunisia's history. Tunisian's will go to the polls on October 23rd to elect an assembly which will re-write the constitution. More than 80 political parties are vying for seats on the 218-member assembly. All have agreed the assembly will sit for one year only. The European Union is sending 150 observers to monitor the election. They're undergoing training as the campaign warms up. SOUNDBITE: Saleh Khmiri, regional co-ordinator of election monitors in Tunis, saying (Arabic): "Today we trained observers to monitor the polling stations which is more practical. We will try to engage them. We'll be observing the voting process and the process of compiling the votes and the final screening process until the results are declared." It's not been all plain sailing to get this far. Some opposition parties fear the interim government will renege on its pledge to lead Tunisia towards democracy. There've been violent protests too over delays in holding the election. Paul Chapman, Reuters