jeudi 17 novembre 2011

Problem in negotiations for the Constituent Assembly and detailed election results

Mustapha Ben Jaafar, the leader of
For a number of days the Ennahda, Congress for the republic (CPR – French acronym) and Ettakatol parties have been negotiating the work to be done by the parliamentarians in the Constituent Assembly.

These parties have respectively finished first, second and fourth in the election. The independent list in third place, Aridha Chaabia, has been ignored for multiple reasons.

The main subjects of negotiations are the positions of President of the country, President of the Assembly and Prime Minister of the next government. The parties are attempting to share the ministries with the goal of presenting a “government of national interest” as often stated by the Islamist party Ennahda.

As such, the concept is politically noble and appropriate in terms of image. With no party having a clear majority, those at the top must try to form a coalition or at least an alliance. In addition, it is advantageous for them to appear non partisan and working on the real issues the country is facing. Few citizens would be pleased by the prospect of one party forming the government.

Initial tensions

Up to now, according to preliminary reports in the media, discussions were going on rather smoothly. The probable alliance was wide ranging and reassuring for the population: Ennahda uniting Islamists and many voters from the right, CPR for the center-right electorate and Ettakol for the center-left.

Nevertheless, a conflict erupted yesterday with an Ettakatol representative announcing that his party was leaving the negotiating table.

This departure was motivated by a statement made the previous day by the Secretary General of the Ennahda party, Hamadi Jebali. While in a public meeting with a leader of the Palestinian movement Hamas, he affirmed that “this (the revolution) is a divine moment, in a new state, in a 6th Caliphate” referring to a non-democratic system of governance that recognises the authority of a Caliph instead of elected officials.

Hamadi Jebali, the General Secretary of Ennahda.
In a radio interview, a representative of Ettakatol mentioned that this wasn’t a definitive break but mostly a warning sent to Ennahda to say that it’s “inadmissible to speak of a Caliph in Tunisia when we’re discussing the principles involved with a second republic”.

In replying to the controversy, M. Jebali suggested that his comments were “taken out of context”. Meanwhile, the other parties expressed their disapproval (article in French) during exchanges with the media.

This latest gaffe by Ennahda follows a scandal that involved Souad Abderrahim, one of the party’s star candidate. Note that she has decided to file a complaint for defamation (article in French) against Jalel Brick, a severe critic of Ennahda and the former regime of Ben Ali.  

Detailed results of the vote

The Independent High Authority for the Elections has finally divulged the complete and detailed results of the election. Theses numbers concern 33 ridings.

One can see that unlike what was initially reported, it isn’t 70% but 51.7% of the eligible population that exercised their right to vote. In Tunisia, the percentage was 54.1 while in the Diaspora it only reached 28.9.

Here are the number of votes and seats obtained by each party, coalition and independent list. To consult a list of all elected candidates click here.

Political parties and independent lists
Number of seats
Number of votes
Ennhada (Islamists)
1 500 649
Congress for the Republic (CPR)
341 549
Aridha Chaabia***
252 025
248 686
Progressive Democratic Party (PDP)
111 067
Al Moubadara
97 489
Modernist Democratic Pole (PDM)**
49 186
Afek Tounes
29 336
The Revolutionary Alternative (PCOT)
11 891
Echaab Movement
13 979
Social Democrats
8 230
Voice of the Independent*
13 432
The Independent*
11 980
For a Tunisian National Front*
7 421
Maghrebine Liberal Party
6 621
Equality and Justice Party
6 098
The Hope*
6 022
Progressive Struggle Party
5 860
The New Destourian Party
5 826
The Democratic Social People's Party
5 643
Cultural Unionist People's Party
5 219
The Faith*
5 070
Social Struggle*
4 749
Free Patriotic Union (UPL)
4 456
4 232
National Democrats Movement
3 599
Faith to the martyrs*
2 540
*Independent lists
***9 elected members resigned

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