Home World In Tunisia, the endless division of the party Nidaa Tounès

In Tunisia, the endless division of the party Nidaa Tounès

The training is found with two elected presidents and two political offices. A new blow for the party in power already very weakened.

By Lilia Blaise Posted today at 17h58

Time to Reading 2 min.

Tunisian President Béji Caïd Essebsi, at the Nidaa Tounès party congress, Monastir, April 6, 2019.
Tunisian President Béji Caïd Essebsi at the Nidaa Tounès party congress, Monastir, April 6, 2019. FETHI BELAID / AFP

The jump expected by some will not have taken place. Nidaa Tounes, the party founded in 2012 by President Essebsi to counter the Islamists, has failed to reduce its internal divisions. Saturday, April 13, after weeks of talks and quarrels, the formation, which held its elective congress, was split again in two.

Sofiène Toubel, deputy and president of the parliamentary bloc of Nidaa Tounès, was appointed at the head of the central committee by a part of the congressists gathered in Hammamet, while the son of the president, Hafedh Caïd Essebsi, was elected at the head of the instance at another meeting held in Monastir. The party thus emerged from its congress even weaker, and now headed by two heads.

Read also Tunisia: Congress of Nidaa Tounes reveals the torments of the party

"Hafedh Caid Essebsi is still my friend. There is no problem, that is democracy, said Sofiène Toubel on a national radio. A few days before, the deputy, accused in several cases of corruption by the Tunisian justice, had made public an embarrassing telephone conversation for his rival. There was a congresswoman talking about the pressures she was under by the clan of Hafedh Caid Essebsi. However, it is impossible to verify if the conversation was not a staging.

A very uncertain future

Three years ago, the same scenario had almost happened. The president's son had gathered members around him and had taken the party's executive leadership, while a large part of Nidaa Tounès's militants had resigned, denouncing a nepotic drift of the party. This year, some still had the hope to wipe out the past and sweep the procrastination, but no consensus emerged.

Sunday, April 14, facing the debacle of the division, Ayoub Zaramdini, one of the congressmen, tried to relativize: "It's true that this new configuration affects our credibility. But at least we are transparent about all our problems, not like other parties. Now, we have to find common ground. It will be the President of the Republic who will decide or justice. "

Read also In Tunisia, President Béji Caïd Essebsi announces that he does not wish to represent himself

But will the president decide between his son and a new elected? "He has always defended his son even though he officially says the opposite," said Zohra Driss, a former member of Nidaa Tounès, who resigned several months ago. In addition, the intervention of the Head of State at the opening of the Congress – he had called for unity – was not heard.

With now two presidents at its head, the future of Nidaa Tounès seems very uncertain. The party appears already very weakened in the polls facing its rivals Ennahda and Tahya Tounes. In the Assembly, the number of its deputies has been halved since its victory in the 2014 parliamentary elections. "I do not even know how much we are in the parliamentary bloc, you ask me a glue", confided a member to the convention. A confusion that seems to be now the main political line of the party.

Lilia Blaise (Tunis, correspondence)

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