Tunisian new powerhouse ready for partnerships

October 31, 2011

Al Nahda, the emerging powerhouse in Tunisian politics, said that it was not planning to impose any form of hegemony on the society and welcomed partnerships with other parties.

“We seek to work together with whoever wants to achieve the objectives of the revolution,” Samir Dilo, a member of Al Nahda, said.

Two days after the elections, the focus in Tunisia has shifted from which party has won to who will team up with Al Nahda in the constituent assembly, as it drafts a new constitution and chooses an interim president and a caretaker prime minister for one year.

The Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), a centre-left formation that performed poorly, on Monday said that it would not join an alliance and would remain in the opposition.

However, Monsif Marzouki, the leader of the Congress for the Republic (CPR) that has performed better than expected, said that his party was willing to discuss all options.

Dilo said that Al Nahda’s campaigning strategy contributed to its success.

“In our campaign, we relied on direct communication with the people, through popular meetings and face to face contacts,” Dilo, said. “We have avoided since March, when the party was officially legalised, and despite the media bombardment against us, to claim that we were victims,” he said during a debate with political analysts.

Observers said that Al Nahda benfited from being forward-looking in its elections platform and speeches and not dwelling on the situation in Tunisia before the political change in January despite the heavy negative practices associated with it.

Al Nahda sought also to reassure the nation about the future.

“We will not use our victory to draft a constitution according to our ideology, but rather according to that of the people. The guarantees are the media, the judiciary system, a vivacious civil society and the respect of the people’s willpower,” Dilo said

“We are not a new formation and the victory should not come as a surprise. It is a deep-rooted movement in the Tunisian society that had 30,000 members imprisoned and 40,000 members arrested while around 100 people were killed,” he said.

“We thank those who criticised us fairly because they helped us improve ourselves. We also thank those who criticised us unfairly because it was a true test for our self-restraint,” 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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