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02:30

Tunisia: Tunisians watch first ever televised presidential debates ahead of elections

Tunisia, Tunis
September 10, 2019 at 16:22 GMT +00:00 · Published

Dozens of Tunisians gathered in the capital city of Tunis on Monday, for a second day of nation's first ever televised presidential debates.

The gathering was organized by the IWATCH group founded after the Tunisian revolution to monitor political events and observe elections.

"For us it is very important that the Tunisian citizens do not vote based on impressions but on the basis of candidates programs. Seeing and hearing candidates debating brings them closer to voters," President of the IWATCH Organisation Ashraf Oweidi said.

"It is a very good initiative and a new culture that is entering the political scene and that we were not used to seeing before. Today, these debates have at least allowed us to understand the candidates' electoral programs. What has made me personally happy is to see events like this one," said one of the attendees.

The Tunisian Presidential elections are set to take place on 15 September 2019, the second elections since the Jasmine revolution in 2010-2011 which saw president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali removed from office.

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Dozens of Tunisians gathered in the capital city of Tunis on Monday, for a second day of nation's first ever televised presidential debates.

The gathering was organized by the IWATCH group founded after the Tunisian revolution to monitor political events and observe elections.

"For us it is very important that the Tunisian citizens do not vote based on impressions but on the basis of candidates programs. Seeing and hearing candidates debating brings them closer to voters," President of the IWATCH Organisation Ashraf Oweidi said.

"It is a very good initiative and a new culture that is entering the political scene and that we were not used to seeing before. Today, these debates have at least allowed us to understand the candidates' electoral programs. What has made me personally happy is to see events like this one," said one of the attendees.

The Tunisian Presidential elections are set to take place on 15 September 2019, the second elections since the Jasmine revolution in 2010-2011 which saw president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali removed from office.

M/S Man smoking shisha, Tunis

W/S Crowd watching presidential debate

C/U Woman watching presidential debate

SOT, Ashraf Oweidi, President of the IWATCH Organisation (Arabic): "In fact, over the course of three days we have taken the initiative to organize gatherings to watch the presidential debates. We wondered why we wouldn't gather to watch a politics, because we usually meet only to watch the African Cup."

W/S Crowd watching presidential debate *CUTAWAY*

SOT, Ashraf Oweidi, President of the IWATCH Organisation (Arabic): "We were not sure if we would attract such a large number of attendees, but the percentage of those who showed up on the first day of the debates encouraged us to continue for the three days, because for us it is very important that the Tunisian citizens do not vote based on impressions but on the base of candidates' programs. Seeing and hearing candidates debating brings them closer to voters and this can only serve in a good way the interest of the democratic process."

W/S Crowd watching presidential debate

SOT, Event attendee (Arabic): "It is a very good initiative and a new culture that is entering the political scene and that we were not used to seeing before. Today, these debates have at least allowed us to understand the candidates' electoral programs. What has made me personally happy is to see events like this one."

W/S Crowd watching presidential debate *CUTAWAY*

SOT, Event attendee (Arabic): "It is something very good that today in Tunis after the revolution we have such an experience, especially that discussing politics has become a national sport nowadays. So such initiatives is what could give the chance to the Tunisian citizen to choose his or her preferred candidate; me for example, I hesitated between two to three candidates but I think that after today's debate I chose to whom I will give my vote. Because I think when you see them during the live debate in front of millions watching around the world you can notice how strong their personality is and how serious they are."

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