Al Nahda confirmed Tunisia elections winner as government formation talks continue

November 15, 2011

Tunisia's president Fuad Mubazza (R) waits for his turn to have a haircut

Al Nahda, the moderate Islamist party, has been officially confirmed as the winner of the first true multiparty elections in Tunisia.

Kamal Jendoubi, The head of the Independent High Commission for the Elections said that Al Nahda, the party banned for three decades before it was officially registered in March, won 89 of the 217 seats, more than triple the runner up in the national elections held on October 23.

The Congress for the Republic, a liberal party led by human rights activist Munsif Marzouki , got 29 seats, followed by contest shockers Popular Petition, 26, whose leader, London-based Al Mustaqbil television owner Mohammad Hashemi Hamdi has not returned home yet despite making an announcement that he would land in Tunis last Saturday.

Attakattol, the Forum Party, with its 20 seats came fourth, followed by the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), the centre-left party tipped before the elections to be the second largest formation and a secular counterweight to Al Nahda. The PDP said that it was not interested in joining the government and that it would be part of the opposition.

The Modern Democratic Axis, a left wing formation, put out a dismal performance and received only five seats, the same result as the Initiative Party.

The Communist Party had only three seats.

In the negotiations for the immediate future of the country, Al Nahda completely ignored the second runner-up, the Populist Petition, and engaged in talks with the Congress for the Republic and Al Takattol.

The three parties said that they had suspicions about Popular Petition links with former members of the RCD, the party of Zine Al Abidine Bin Ali, the president ousted in January, and agreed to confine to themselves the discussion of the government formation and the names of the constituent assembly speaker and president.

The three had agreed that Al Nahda would head the government and the Islamist party fronted its secretary general Hamadi Jebali.

However, a report circulating in Tunis that Al Nahda would have 10 portfolios in the new government was dismissed as “baseless rumours” by Nour Al Deen B’hiri, its spokesman.

“The formation of the government is still being discussed,” he said. “Nothing has been finalised yet.”

According to the report, Mustafa Bin Jaafar would be the next president and Monsif Marzouki the speaker of the constituent assembly.



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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