For the elections of the Constituent Assembly on October 23rd, traditional political parties find themselves facing serious competition from independents. They represent around 45% of the electoral lists, with 678 lists and 11,313 final candidates for the October elections.
Their rush to the elections was expected. They have always occupied the Tunisian political scene, notably in civil society associations in the absence of political roles. They were able to answer the aspirations of people in these roles especially in the absence of clear political programs to interest people. Independents could possibly fill the vacuum in the political scene to help the political and economic transition.
The rising number of independents in candidate lists will be challenged with gaining enough trust to acquire a significant presence in the scene. A good number of independent lists include old Islamic movements’ members not affiliated with Al-Nahdha or other Islamist groups.
Disaffection with traditional political parties and the rising number of interest groups (professional, economic or ideological) have favored the emergence of political “lobbies” in the Tunisian political scene explains the popularity of independents with locals in some districts. They can bring a big surprise for the October elections. Some observers fear that the presence of a “mosaic” of independent lists parties in the constituent assembly and will not help to form a consensus. Forming coalitions between different ideological currents will prove to be difficult.
Source: al-Muharrer, Le Quotidien, Webmanagercenter