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Thread: Tunisia - elections 2014

  1. #1
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    Default Tunisia - elections 2014

    Parliamentary elections will be held in Tunisia on 26 October 2014 and campaigning started earlier this month on October 4. There is a bewildering array of parties and individuals competing for the 217 seats with 1,300 candidate lists in 33 electoral districts. The three main contending groups, however, appear to be:

    [1] Nidaa Tounes (Call for Tunisia). This party was established after the election of 2011 and is expected to gain the most votes in the upcoming election. Polls put it at between 40 and 45%. It promotes itself primarily as an anti-Islamic option and is headed by 86 year old Beji Caid Essebsi, a former prime minister. Nidaa Tounes is comprised of secular liberals but also contains former members of ousted president Ben Ali's party. On the one hand it is strongly supported by the “business families” of Tunisia while on the other it has close connections with the Tunisian General Labour Union. It is well positioned to mop up the secular vote.

    [2] Ennhada. The moderate Islamists did best in the 2011 election, polling 37%, and went into government with the support of two smaller parties. Support for Ennhada has dropped considerably since then and pollsters now place it in the low 20's. An inability to tackle economic problems such as rising food prices and high unemployment no doubt contributed to this. In the face of an extensive political crisis, triggered in part by the assassination of two prominent leftists, the party stepped down in January 2014 and was replaced by an interim government of essentially technocrats that was tasked with overseeing the drafting of a new constitution. The upcoming election is the first under the new constitution which appears to have reduced presidential power in favour of parliament and cabinet.

    [3] Popular Front. A coalition of some 12 leftist and nationalist parties and various independents. It was also formed after the last election though some of its constituent parts are represented in the current parliament. A significant role in the front is played by the Communist Workers Party whose leader, Hamma Hammami, acts as it spokesperson. The Front has survived the assassination of two leading members Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi and strengthened itself to the extent that many observers are expecting it to poll third in the upcoming election.

    The enthusiasm of Tunisians to run in the election is apparently not matched by that of voters. Voter registration has been slack by all accounts and the turnout is not expected to be much greater than the 51% who voted in the 2011 election.

    Parliamentary elections will be followed by presidential elections in November for which there are 27 candidates. Hamma Hammami will run for the Popular Front.

    This video is of Hammami speaking at an event in France last month. I'd recommend , however, avoiding the following speech of Jean-Luc Mélenchon who comes across, to me anyway, as a complete clown

    Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the (female dog) that bore him is in heat again. Bertolt Brecht

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Tunisia - elections 2014

    Initial reports indicate that the secular Nidaa Tounes (38.28%), which also contains former members of ousted president Ben Ali's party, has outpolled the moderate Islamist Ennahdha party (31.33%) which headed the previous government. Third is the Free Patriotic Union (7.83) which seems to be a vehicle for the billionaire Slim Riahi. The performance of the leftist Popular Front (5.52%) which placed fourth will be a huge disappointment to it's activists. This was possibly to be expected given the "make your vote count" appeal which was issued to secularists to unite behind the party best positioned to keep the Islamists out. The Free patriotic Union is also secularist (and massively "free market") but in terms of spending power in elections it leaves it's rivals in the shade.

    The secular vote was accordingly over 50% of the electorate but there is really nothing in the election result to deepen the revolution or further the cause of the workers and peasants.

    It remains to be seen what sort of coalition government will be put together and to what extent it will be successful in addressing the severe economic problems of the country.

    6:00 a.m.: (Anadolu Agency report) preliminary results: Nidaa Tounes 38.28%, Ennahdha 31.33%, Free Patriotic Union 7.83%, Popular front 5.52%, Afek Tounes 4.14%, Democratic Current 2.30%, Congress for the Republic 1.84%. 02:24 a.m.: (reports) Nidaa Tounes still in Lead followed by Ennahdha 00:17 a.m.: ISIE press conference: largest voter turnout abroad in North France: 48% 00:17 a.m.: […]
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    Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the (female dog) that bore him is in heat again. Bertolt Brecht

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    Default Re: Tunisia - elections 2014

    Final results. Parliament seats allocation (217 seats total):

    Nida Tunis: 85 seats. (Center right/secular/some ties to the old regime.)
    Ennahda party: 69 seats. (Center right/moderate Islamist)
    Free Patriotic Union: 16 seats. ("Free market"/secular)
    Popular Front: 15 seats. (Left wing)
    Afek Tounes: 8 seats. (Center right/secular)

    The remaining 24 seats were split among another dozen small parties.

    Nida Tunis appears to have ruled out coalition with Ennahda and will be looking to the smaller secular parties to form a government.
    Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the (female dog) that bore him is in heat again. Bertolt Brecht

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    Default Re: Tunisia - elections 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Lord View Post
    Final results. Parliament seats allocation (217 seats total):

    ...
    The remaining 24 seats were split among another dozen small parties.

    Nida Tunis appears to have ruled out coalition with Ennahda and will be looking to the smaller secular parties to form a government.
    Yes, thats when the problems will start, the radicalists, of various persuasions, will try to extract concessions. Nida'a connection with the past and the millionaires, of various persuasions, will make the going sticky.

    An Egypt style mess is to be avoided, but it could be difficult. French commercial interests (e.g. almost all the tourism business is French owned/managed) will also play a part.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Tunisia - elections 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Lord View Post
    Final results. Parliament seats allocation (217 seats total):

    Nida Tunis: 85 seats. (Center right/secular/some ties to the old regime.)
    Ennahda party: 69 seats. (Center right/moderate Islamist)
    Free Patriotic Union: 16 seats. ("Free market"/secular)
    Popular Front: 15 seats. (Left wing)
    Afek Tounes: 8 seats. (Center right/secular)

    The remaining 24 seats were split among another dozen small parties.

    Nida Tunis appears to have ruled out coalition with Ennahda and will be looking to the smaller secular parties to form a government.
    I dont think that you are correct about Nidaa Tunis being centre right, I think thats just a fib or your take on it. The main trade union in the country , UGTT threw its weight behind the party when they ran for election. Left voters were alienated in Tunisia for a long while and once they hopped on board this brought the left voters into the fold. So your description of them being a centre right party is not all that true Sam is it? Plus the new union / party as it was is made up of al-Massar , a former party that ran left candidates in the 2011 election so how they are meant to bear to the right is slightly beyond me ...
    History is the only true teacher, the revolution the best school for the proletariat - Rosa Luxembourg

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Tunisia - elections 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by fluffybiscuits View Post
    I dont think that you are correct about Nidaa Tunis being centre right, I think thats just a fib or your take on it. The main trade union in the country , UGTT threw its weight behind the party when they ran for election. Left voters were alienated in Tunisia for a long while and once they hopped on board this brought the left voters into the fold. So your description of them being a centre right party is not all that true Sam is it? Plus the new union / party as it was is made up of al-Massar , a former party that ran left candidates in the 2011 election so how they are meant to bear to the right is slightly beyond me ...
    The proof of the pudding is in the eating as they say. I will revisit this post after they have been in government for a while.
    Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the (female dog) that bore him is in heat again. Bertolt Brecht

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