lundi 17 octobre 2011

Coalition rumors as vote draws near

The leader of Ettakatol, Mustapha Ben Jaafar.

With less than a week before Tunisia’s election of their first Constituent Assembly, rumors are starting to spread of possible coalitions forming.

As a matter of fact, these discussions have been going on for some time; it was already a matter of debate last summer. CPR party leader Moncef Marzouki made it clear that he has no intentions of forming a coalition before Elections Day.

Certainly, these talks of alliances can be considered quite normal at this point, especially when you look at the polls. If there is one thing we can be fairly sure of right now is that none of the parties have enough support to form a majority government. A coalition will surely occur if the constituents are to vote for a new constitution.

This said, it was reported that the PDP sought to reunite the PDM, Afek Tounes and Ettakatol in a ‘‘progressive coalition’’ the day after the vote on October 23rd.

Indeed, the Business News journal confirmed that the leaders of these four parties met (article in French) no later than last Wednesday to discuss the idea.

Sources inside the parties with whom I spoke told me that the coalition was very likely to occur following the vote. This should all be made official very soon. The PDM has already confirmed their intentions this week via this communiqué (in French). It seems that the CPR has been somewhat left out of the discussion at this point.

Recently, rumor has it that Ettakatol will give their support to Islamic party Ennadha in the Assembly in exchange for their backing of Mustapha Ben Jaafar (Ettakatol’s leader) at the presidential election.

These rumors were all denied however by Mr. Jaafar in an interview he had with newspaper La Presse yesterday. He added that the party was waiting until after the election to decide on anything.

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