Tunisia to hold long-delayed municipal vote in 2018

TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia will hold long-delayed municipal elections in 2018, the presidency said on Tuesday, the first such vote since the 2011 uprising unseated autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali.

Activists hope the elections will give a new push for the North African country’s democratic transition by giving more power to local councils.

Soldiers and security forces will get to vote on April 29 and members of the public on May 6, President Beji Caid Essebsi said in a statement.

The vote had been postponed several times, raising fears among activists that figures from the old regime were trying to stall the advances promised after the uprising.

In September parliament approved a law granting amnesty to officials liked to the former government accused of corruption.

The same month Prime Minister Youssef Chahed unveiled a new cabinet including several officials who had held positions under Ben Ali.

The last municipal vote was held in 2010.

Reporting by Mohamed Argoubi and Ulf Laessing; Editing by Andrew Heavens