Tunisia could hold 'elections in November'

'In principle, the first round could take place in November,' chairman of electoral commission says

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Tunisia could hold legislative and presidential elections in November, the chairman of the electoral commission said on Friday, a day after parliament adopted a law to organise the polls.

"In principle, the first round could take place in November, if they (both elections) are at the same time, with a second round in December," Chafik Sarsar told Express FM radio.

While Tunisia's leadership is committed to holding general election before year-end, there is disagreement over whether the legislative and presidential polls should be held simultaneously.

On Thursday, the interim parliament approved the new electoral law after an often rowdy debate.

The planned elections aim to create permanent institutions in the country that spawned the Arab Spring in 2011 but which remains plagued by prolonged political crises, social conflict and a rise of jihadist groups.

The legislative polls are to be held on a single, first-past-the-post basis by constituencies, with no threshold fixed.

The presidential election is to be staged over two rounds and will require a majority vote.

The law's adoption comes three months after the approval of a new constitution that was hailed by Western countries as a transition towards democracy in Tunisia.