This blog's main topics are the political situation in Tunisia and all the activities surrounding the election of the Constituent Assembly that was held on October 23rd 2011. You will also find interviews and discussions that I conducted with politicians and bloggers from the Revolution. All this from a Canadian perspective in Tunis.
mercredi 9 novembre 2011
Important changes in the Tunisian Parliament
Hechmi Hamdi, the controversial leader of Aridha Chaabia.
The period to contest the election results decreed by
the Independent High Authority for the Elections (ISIE) came to an end on
Tuesday. The Administrative Court rendered a decision that surprised many by
accepting the appeal lodged by the independent list Aridha Chaabia and their
controversial leader Hechmi Hamdi, who some believe, supported former dictator
Thus, seven seats were recovered by the party. Remember that while presenting the results of the
election on October 27th, the president of ISIE, Kamel Jendoubi, announced
that eight of the 27 seats won by Aridha Chaabia were confiscated due to
electoral fraud and the presence of an elected candidate in the France II
riding who held an important position under the former regime.
The Administrative Court has therefore reversed a
decision taken by the ISIE that went against the independent list in five
ridings: Sidi Bouzid (3 seats), Sfax I (1 seat), Jendouba (1 seat), Kasserine
(1 seat) and Tataouine (1 seat), for a total of 7 seats. This decision impacts
significantly the composition of the Tunisian Parliament since the Aridha
Chaabia list is once again in third place, a position it held before being
sanctioned by the ISIE, with a new total of 26 seats.
Seats per party
The seats recovered by Aridha Chaabia mean two fewer
seats for the Ennahda Islamic party, one less for Ettakatol, and also one less seat
for both CPR and PDP. The final tally of seats for the top five parties in the
Constituent Assembly election is as follows:
Ennahda : 89
2 – Congrès pour
la République (CPR) : 29
3 – Aridha Chaabia : 26
4 – Ettakatol : 20
5 – Parti démocrate progressiste (PDP) : 16
Note that the Administrative Court only reversed the
ISIE decision where it involved electoral fraud. The elected candidate in the
France II riding who had ties with the former regime remains disqualified. Full
details of this decision haven’t been divulged. Remember that 104 protests were
lodged and that only 6 were considered valid – with seven seats being awarded
to Aridha Chaabia and one to Ennahda.
The balance of power has now shifted in the Constituent
Assembly. Recent rumours evoked possible alliances between Ennahda, CPR and
Ettakatol, leaving aside Aridha Chaabia. But now that they’re in third place,
will they still be ignored by the other parties?
A representative of Ennahda only declared that “the
party respects the decision of the court and will continue negotiating with all
elected members of the Constituent Assembly”.
Ettakatol’s reaction was much sterner. A party press
agent revealed that they were very surprised by the decision and that they
would refuse to collaborate with Aridha Chaabia members because of serious
violations they committed during the electoral campaign. Ettakatol’s
representative even mentioned that “members of that party gave money to citizens
to obtain their vote!”
In Sidi Bouzid, an Aridha Chaabia stronghold and only
riding where Ennahda didn’t finish first, many citizens celebrated in the
streets when the judgement was proclaimed.
The Court of Appeal decides that former Premier of Libya will be
Al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi, former Premier of Libya.
Finally, a decision was rendered by the Tunisian Court
of Appeal concerning the extradition trial of former Libyan Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi. He will be handed over to Libyan authorities who had requested his
extradition when he was arrested last September 22nd. Due to
procedural delays, M. Mahmoudi will only be returned to Libya after the promulgation
of a decree by the interim president. No date has been established for this
final stage in the procedure.
Last Monday, Amnesty International asked the Tunisian
government not to extradite M. Mahmoudi since he might be exposed to serious
dangers such has “an extrajudicial execution or an unfair trial”.