Al Nahda starts consultations on Tunisia coalition government

October 31, 2011

Al Nahda, Tunisia’s new political powerhouse, said that it had started consultations and that it would not exclude anyone from the talks.

The Islamist party that was banned until March has so far won 51 of the 121 seats assigned in the 217-member constituent assembly that will write the new constitution and choose an interim president and a caretaker prime minister.

“We have launched talks with several parties to achieve institutions that will represent the wide Tunisian spectrum and we will not exclude anyone,” said Abdul Hamid Jelassi, the head of the party’s campaigning team.

“Tunisians have given 40 per cent of the seats to Al Nahda and this makes us the leading political party in the country. This also means that the party now belongs to all Tunisians,” he told the media late on Tuesday evening.

Final results of the elections on Sunday have not been announced yet, but the scores that have been trickling put Al Nahdha ahead, giving it an unassailable lead.

According to initial counts, the Congress for the Republic trails Al Nahdha with 16 seats, but ahead of the Popular Petition which has secured 12 seats and Attakatol with 10 seats.

The Progress Democratic Party (PDP), the centre-left formation tipped as the second party in the country before the elections and the secular counterweight to Al Nahdha, has had a dismal performance, winning so far only five seats. Its leaders have said that they were not interested in joining an alliance and wanted to remain in the opposition.

Jelassi said that Al Nahdha was already working on a coalition government and that it would adopt “swift measures” to meet the needs of the Tunisian people.

“We do insist on the importance of development, employment and legitimate gains. We also give assurances to the market and to Tunisia’s partners about our commitment to the existing agreements,” he said.

Jelassi said that his party welcomed the reconciliatory remarks by most political activists about the election results.

“We need to reinforce the political culture in which the opposition has the right to contest, challenge and consult,” he said.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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