|The leader of the UPL, Slim Riahi|
lundi 10 octobre 2011
The UPL’s big show
For most parties on the ballot, the beginning of their political campaign was very similar – public meetings, speeches given by the leader in front of supporters and/or press conferences.
However, the UPL (Free Patriotic Union) decided, so to speak, to do things a little differently. This garnered them much attention from the media and voters but not necessarily in a good way.
Following the advice of a communications firm, the party had its first official assembly in the El Menzha sports complex. They adorned it with their colors (red and white), played Michael Jackson’s music, had light shows, giant screens and a triumphant entry by their chief, who was flanked by bodyguards, photographers and cameramen while making his way to the stage.
The way it looked, it was pretty much the same than the political rallies we can see in many European countries and America.
The problem with UPL’s rally was that most of the 5000 ‘‘supporters’’ weren’t even old enough to vote. Did I mention also that they were bribed to come to the stadium by being offered a bag with cigarettes in it and 5 dinars? See for yourself :
Seeing that video, we can imagine the state of its coffers, especially Slim Riahi’s, who funds most of the party’s activities (article in French).
Here’s a quick look at who exactly is Slim Riahi (in French). He was a relative unknown in Tunisia before the Revolution; his time was spent in exile in Britain, where he made his fortune in the oil business. He is suspected of having ties with the Kadhafis, but he denies these allegations.