jeudi 27 octobre 2011

Suspense on the Election results and the start of protests

These elections are the first in the history of Tunisia, it is therefore quite normal that delays and setbacks are often. In a way, ISIE’s decision to postpone the results and assure a true count is a very noble act. In the Ben Arous riding, the seven ballot boxes were entirely recounted because some of the staff had doubts about the original count.

So, the results aren’t in yet – if there are no more delays, they should be announced Thursday evening.

With that said, as of Wednesday, 70% of ballots have been counted – 159 seats on 217. Islamic party Ennadha still leads with 65 elected officials and their victory is almost certain. It is also very likely that they will be in a minority government since they would need 44 of a possible 58 seats left for a majority.

Tied for second place are Aridha Chabbia and CPR, each with 22 seats. Ettakatol is in fourth with 13.

The main question that remains to be answered is this : which parties will form a majority coalition at the Assembly? The time for rumors is behind us now – CPR’s leader, Moncef Marzouki said today that his party was willing to negotiate with Ennadha.

Moncef Marzouki, leader of the CPR.
He also insisted on the fact that CPR would make no compromises regarding individual liberties and women’s rights. If he felt that these were being impeded, he would immediately end the coalition. What is strange though is that one of the party’s treasurers rejected the idea of a center left alliance – something that had been said many times before the election.

This potential coalition between Ennadha and CPR risks quickly running into a serious roadblock since both parties have repeated their desires for their own sort of legislative system. Ennadha still wants a one house parliamentary system (for the reasons that I have explained in this article) and CPR wants a semi-presidential one.

In other news, Ennadha’s leader, Rached Gannouchi stated that he would propose the secretary general of his party, Hamadi Jelali as Prime Minister, because “that job should belong to the party that finished first” he said.

Finally, protests occurred yesterday against the Islamic party around the Tunis convention center. Some 200 protesters brandished signs and spoke out against what they believed were unfair electoral practices as well as Ennadha’s religious agenda. An important police force watched over the proceedings.

Follow the results of the election live here and here.

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