UN rights chief urges Tunisians to vote in first elections

21st October 2011, Comments 0 comments

UN rights chief Navi Pillay called on Tunisians to turn up in force at Sunday's polls, saying that the country can act as a role model for others in the region.

"Change can be achieved when the people take ownership of the future of their homeland and participate in the important decisions that will determine the course it takes," said Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

"That is why it is important that Tunisians -- young and old, women and men -- make their voices heard once again, this time by casting their votes," she said.

Pillay said she would be watching the first free post-Arab Spring election with "goodwill and optimism -- but also some trepidation".

"Our greatest hope is that Tunisia will once again act as an inspirational role model for other countries in the region, and elsewhere in the world, in the conduct of these elections and in the new social and political landscape they can help to shape.

Campaigning in Tunisia closes at midnight on Friday, two days before the country's first democratic elections.

© 2011 AFP

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