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Tunisians vote on constitution that could bolster one-man rule

A Tunisians man votes in a referendum on a draft constitution put forward by the country's President, at a polling station in Ariana district near the capital   -  
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FETHI BELAID/AFP or licensors


Tunisians have began voting Monday on whether to accept a new constitution put forward by President Kais Saied.

The result of the referendum will determine whether Tunisia changes from a hybrid parliamentary system or a presidential one.

Voting runs till 10:00 pm local time at some 11,000 polling stations across the North African country.

Around 9.3 million out of Tunisia's 12 million people -- civilians aged over 18 -- have opted in or been automatically registered to vote, according to the electoral commission.

The referendum comes a year to the day after Saied sacked the government and froze parliament in a dramatic power grab, as Tunisia grappled with surging coronavirus cases on top of political and economic crises.

Saied has been criticised by his opponents for what they say has amounted to a coup and an attempt to bring about a return to one-man rule. Saied says his changes have been necessary to rein in a corrupt political elite.

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