dimanche 9 octobre 2011

Top 4 (Part 2)

3-Ettakatol: Coming in third place in the polls is the socialist-democratic party Ettakatol. They define themselves as being in favor of individual liberties, and the separation of church and state while maintaining a certain Islamic, or rather Arab Muslim identity, in the Constitution.

The party unveiled its program on July 14th , which contained, in 100 points, their goals on righting the current situation in Tunisia. Many of these propositions are quite vague but some are more specific and quite to the point. For example, they intend to improve the tourism sector, which has recently suffered a drop because of the Revolution, by opening Tunisian airspace. In the past, airspace was controlled in such a manner that it served the interests of the Trabelsi family’s personal airline. In case you forgot, they were Ben Ali’s wife’s family. Also, Ettakatol proposes to erase the debt incurred by partially state funded hotels in an effort to cleanse the Ministry of Tourism’s books.

Mustapha Ben Jaafar
I would like to note a courageous gesture on their behalf when the party released its financial statements to the media two weeks ago; few parties have shown as much political bravery on the issue.

Their leader, Mustapha Ben Jaafar (link in French), founded Ettakatol in 1994 and, during the final years of the dictatorship, he participated in an opposition coalition comprised of now rivals Ennhada and the PDP. While completing his studies during the sixties, Jaafar supported President Bourguiba’s Neo-Destour party and was also active in the Tunisian Student Union (UGET), which was eradicated under Ben Ali.

4-Congress For The Republic (CFR): Although viewed by many as being a favorite at the election, the CFR only holds 5 to 8% of votes. It vouches for a strong national identity and is slightly more to the left than its top four competitors.

Moncef Marzouki
Party leader Moncef Marzouki had a pretty long background. Doctor, then university professor, Marzouki was also the leader of the League of human rights in Tunisia before being forced to exiled to France in 2001 after constant threats from the regime. He founded the CFR party ten years ago. Last year, he was criticized for being hasty for his announcement that he would run for president at the next election only three days after Ben Ali’s public ousting, January 17th.

After having toyed with the idea of an alliance with Ennhada a couple of months ago, the leader changed his mind and publicly stated that there would be no coalition before the vote.

 5- To mention: The Pole Modernist Democrat party (PDM), at center left, intend to block Islamic parties as much as possible. Quick fact about them: in the 33 ridings, 16 of its head candidates are women, which is more than any party. That’s a breath of fresh air compared to other parties who have men as head candidates in 97% of their lists. Remember that these other parties continually laud their intentions for more women’s freedoms and a more equal place in society for them. I guess that means everywhere except in their own ranks…

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