Tunisia election: Your voices

Tunisians are set to vote for a new government on Sunday in the country's first general election since the ousting of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in January.

His Democratic Constitutional Rally (RCD), which had been in power for 23 years, was toppled after Tunisians took to the streets during the revolution which inspired the "Arab Spring".

Here, Tunisians tell the BBC what the upcoming elections mean to them.

Hisham Hamdy, 24, Tunisia

Image caption Hisham Hamdy believes these elections will be fair and democratic

I didn't take part in previous elections because they were clearly rigged.

The president and his party always won by unrealistic margins. Since the revolution, however, everything is much clearer and there are no signs of rigging.

This was evident to me when I went to register for these elections and saw the kind of technology they were using to prevent fraud and rigging.

Some parties are flexing financial muscle to get a lot of exposure on TV, the internet and newspapers.

Other less well-funded parties cannot compete with this and so the voter may not know some of the new ones.

My only fear is that pillars of the former regime use their vast wealth to enter politics under new guises and names.

Islamists do not pose a danger for me because they were used simply to scare off and plant fear in Tunisians.

I hope the Constituent Assembly succeeds in creating jobs for the youth because it is the most pressing need at the moment.

Achieving that will help Tunisia move forward and allow Tunisians to enjoy their new-found democratic state.

Nouha Turki, Susah, Tunisia

We look forward to the elections with a mixture of hope and apprehension, we believe that the date of October 23 will be decisive but some of us are really afraid of a civil war.

Image caption Nouha Turki thinks the government needs new faces

The majority think in fact that the party Nahda will get most votes and believe that if Nahda does not get a higher percentage up to the 20% prognosticated, it means that there was manipulation.

Others fear that the elections will be sabotaged by extremist groups who can easily recourse to violence - as we have seen in recent events at the Faculty of Humanities of Sousse when they attacked the secretary general who refused to register a female student wearing the niqab.

We are also optimistic about the Constitutional Assembly.

We believe that there are people qualified and worthy of representing the Tunisian people and have the ability to write a new constitution, which is in dire need of a redesign, after years of violations.

As a young Tunisian citizen, I believe that the interim government should leave the government because its mission is completed.

We want to see new faces and we were shocked to learn that the Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi plans to run for the presidential elections.

I believe it's time for him to retire and write his memoirs.

Mohammed Bani, 36, UK

Image caption Mohammed Bani is optimistic about the elections

The Constituent Assembly will be vital because it is the first properly elected institution in Tunisia's modern history.

I want a constitution that guarantees rights and freedoms and is based on equality and justice.

This will ensure that Tunisia joins progressive states. I want a revolutionary government that exacts justice from members of the former regime who are still at large, wielding influence on economy and media.

I didn't vote before because I thought it was futile. But this time the elections are supposed to be transparent. Even if the mentality is the same, people's demands will prevent any electoral wrongdoing and rigging.

The elections won't be entirely democratic but at least they won't be rigged. Though many parties are heavily influenced and funded by the former regime, boycotting the elections entirely is, in my opinion, misjudged.

What occupies my mind at the moment is opposing the parties that were formed by figures of the former regime. There are honest and well-meaning parties but they are eclipsed by the 40+ parties that former figures have created they are what worries me.

In general, I am optimistic and believe that we are going through an inevitable phase of the revolution. Tunisia will emerge better from all this.

Osama Sagheer, 29, Italy

Image caption Osama Sagheer is believes in political pluralism

Through my work in providing support for Arab refugees in Italy, I became familiar with the inner workings of civil society and decided to stand for the Constituent Assembly elections.

I am a member of The Nahda (Renaissance) Party. Its moderate Islamic principles and belief in political pluralism suit me.

Because I believe that the effectiveness of civil society is essential to democracy, I will strive to make participation in it a guaranteed constitutional right that doesn't need governmental licenses - in a similar way to the European Union.

All the fuss about the identity of the Tunisian state is irrelevant because the Tunisian people's identity is clear: they are Arab and Muslim.

What we need is democracy, economic growth and effective civil society.

Zouhaier Khelifa, 47, Monastir, Tunisia

Image caption Zouhaier Khelifa has been actively encouraging the younger generation to vote

Life has changed a lot since the previous political regime was overthrown.

Afterwards the country became quite lawless and we were afraid to be out after 1700 because there were people who would be making trouble out on the streets.

In the last couple of weeks the police have really stepped up and are trying to clean everything up before the elections take place.

I'm very excited about the elections. I'm 47-years-old and this is the first time I'll actually be able to vote in my own country.

I'm saddened to hear that 48% of the population haven't registered to vote however.

I think - certainly for the older people at least - this is because the change is so extreme.

Many of them have only ever seen two presidents and I don't think they realise that their vote will make a difference.

I'm undecided about which party to vote for but I want to see everyone having a job and for us to encourage tourists back to Tunisia.

I've been going out and trying to encourage the younger people to vote. I really want to see proper elections in this country.

If this country was properly run, it should be wealthy and a nice place for people to live."

Ghaith Bellahirich, Nabul, Tunisia

Image caption Ghaith Bellahirich says he does not trust any of the parties

Not much has changed since Ben-Ali was forced out. We are still hoping that this situation is going to improve after the election.

I don't think most people know anything about all the different candidates, except for maybe the four to five main groups.

There are a couple of good groups that may provide what people want - they could serve the country.

But I'm not excited about voting though, I don't really trust any of the parties.

The only person I like is Kamel Morjane. He was part of the previous government. He has a very good reputation here in Tunisia. He was really working for the sake of the country.

Some people think that we should put away everyone who worked for the previous regime but some of them have good experience.

I think most people don't feel satisfied by the interim government.

They feel that they are an extension of the previous government.

There are many religious groups - but I don't agree with some of them.

They are extremists and have been involved in terrorist attacks. They would like to have an Islamic state.

That wouldn't work because we have many other religions here.

Youssef Attig, Tunis

My personal feeling is that all the parties are not telling people everything that they should. The result is that the electorate is very confused.

The parties are talking about what they will do one parliament is elected, but they don't have clear plans for what they will do before that.

People need to know what the policies are about sexual equality, whether the party is Islamic, whether there will be a presidential or parliamentary government.

I think there is little transparency in some of these parties, especially the Islamic one.

The Islamic party is creating problems - we have heard on several occasion that there will be protests about women wearing the Niqab.

However I think whatever happens will be far better than what we had before.

I think the election will go well.

The committee has prepared everything very well.

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